Water charges were introduced in 1994 and since then Fingal County Council have collected £2 million annually in charges. However, not everyone was willing to pay the charges and an intensive boycott campaign resulted in legal battles through the courts.
In an unprecedented move Fingal County Council is now targeting its own workers. Anyone who has not paid for water will have the charges deducted directly from their weekly wage.
Finance Officer for Fingal County Council Pat Keane describes the situation as
A long and unwieldy process going through the courts
Both SIPTU and Impact trade unions reacted angrily to the action taken by Fingal County Council and planned to challenge the issue in court. Spokesman for SIPTU John Glennon describes the decision as totally illegal commenting that wages should not be interfered with.
I don't see any reason as to why employees should be treated any differently than the normal public
An RTÉ News report by Teresa Mannion broadcast on 29 April 1996.