Grieving mother claims Irish Water demanded she pay her dead son's bill

Philomena Connolly says she called the utility to inform them of her son Peter's death

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A grieving mother has claimed that Irish Water has demanded that she pay her dead son's water bill.

Speaking to the Irish Mirror, Philomena Connolly (60) from Newbridge in Co Kildare alleges that she called Irish Water to inform them of her son Peter's death last month - only to be asked to pay the bill herself.

"Being the way I am I rang Irish Water explaining my position, that my son was deceased, so they would not add interest to his account," she told the paper.

"Then last Friday just after 3pm I got a phone call from Irish Water sympathising with me and thanking me for my phone call the day before wanting me to put my son’s account in my name and pay the water charge," she said.

She added that "I still can’t believe what’s after happening to me... What I said... when [they] asked me to pay my son’s bill can’t be repeated".

The controversial utility and water charges are said to have become significant sticking points as discussions on forming a new government continue.

Speaking to Newstalk Breakfast this morning, acting Foreign Affairs Minister Charlie Flanagan said "I don't believe it's in anyone's interest to abolish Irish Water. I think there are legal and wider European dictates as far as that's concerned.

"There are people in the hundreds of thousands who have already paid their bills, there are bills due and outstanding. I don't believe it's in anybody's interest, much less that of the country, if we were to now suddenly abolish Irish Water," he suggested.