The members of Mayo County Council this week approved the raising of a loan of €10.4 million for water service projects at Monday’s meeting of the local authority. Some of the elected members expressed concerns that the council would be left with this loan, as Irish Water will take over operational control of the provision of water services in 2014.
Sinn Féin councillor Rose Conway Walsh said, “I’m still very concerned that Mayo County Council will be left with liabilities and no way to pay them. The legislation has not been published yet [for Irish Water and its full responsibilities] and it will be very short notice when it is.”
County manager Peter Hynes assured the members that as far as the council is aware the liabilities will go with Irish Water when it takes over responsibility.
Independent councillor Michael Kilcoyne asked whether this was money owed to the council by central government and if so how long it had been owed to them. Finance officer for Mayo County Council Peter Duggan responded, saying, “Some of this goes back eight years at the furthest [owed to the council by Government].” He added, “We have had a letter from the Department and we are looking closely at it.” He also asserted that on January 1 2014 the assets and the liabilities will transfer to Irish Water.