The Mullingar grandfather who sprang to national prominence last year after his hard hitting letter to the revenue commissioners went viral has vowed not to pay his water charges next year unless certain conditions are met.
Fiery pensioner Billy Cleary sent a letter to Irish Water earlier this month requesting information relating to a number of issues including the level of fluoride that will be in the water, the full cost of the water metre will be installed in his and every home at some point during 2014 and the price per litre that Irish Water will charge. He also sought an assurance that Irish Water would not be privatised in the years to come.
Speaking to the Westmeath Examiner, Mr Cleary, who sent the letter twice before receiving a reply, said that he was not happy with Irish Water’s answers as they didn’t provide him with any concrete details.
“There is a lake out there. Lough Owel it’s a spring lake, it’s been there for 12,000 years since the second Ice Age. That water’s free all we have to do is get the pipes from Portloman into Mullingar. Why do we now have to pay for water that we have had for all our lives? It’s a natural resource that’s there. There is nothing flowing in of Lough Owel or out of it.”
Mr Cleary says that he was visited by the Special Branch twice last year, once after he sent an envelope to the German embassy with a brown substance that resembled faeces, but which was actually a combination of brown bread, gravy and brown sauce.
Despite this, Mr Cleary says that he not afraid of another fight with the powers that be.
“Why should we have to pay for water that is already ours. There are people with young families who are going to be caught with this. If you have two or three children kids coming in from football and hurling and they have a shower they are going to waste water.”
“Unless I get answers that suit me I won’t pay. No fluoride for a start. No way do we want to pay for fluoride. It’s been banned all over Europe and why do we have it over here.””