SHANNON Town is anything but under the spotlight at the moment. With winter evenings closing in, Shannon councillors directed their fire at the ESB when told that approximately one in every 40 of approximately 2,500 public lights in Shannon town are not functioning.
Confirmation that 60 to 70 of the public lights in the town are “faulty” was given to this week’s meeting of Shannon Electoral Area councillors, but a claim that the ESB has responded to all complaints was described as “an insult” by independent councillor Gerry Flynn.
Councillor Flynn was backed up by group chairperson, Councillor Patricia McCarthy in pointing the finger at the ESB rather than the county council that acknowledged in a written response that a delay in issuing orders for repair of lighting columns had taken place.
Neither of the two local councillors would accept that the council should shoulder the bulk of the blame.
In response to the ESB claim relayed through the council officials that faulty lights had been corrected and all complaints responded to, Councillor Flynn, who had raised the issue, said he could name locations in the town where public lights were not functioning.
“One in Tóla Park was reported six or seven months ago but there is no replacement light yet and one in Cill Cais has not been dealt with in two years,” he stated. He added that lights were also out of order in Collins Park and De Lacy Park.
“Under their contract, the ESB is supposed to be a 10-day turnaround in dealing with reported faults, so it should not be a great problem,” Councillor Flynn said. He acknowledged that in the past, the ESB had established a reputation for reliability and efficiency, “but now the ESB is showing total incompetence”, he declared. “It has all become a bit shoddy and they are not doing the job.”
Councillor McCarthy joined Councillor Flynn in defending county council officialdom. “The council held up the hand in acknowledging the delay in issuing orders,” she said. But she agreed that delays in dealing with faulty lights were not the fault of the council.
“The ESB is supposed to make an inspection every two weeks,” she pointed out and added, “I have no great faith in the ESB”.
Commenting on the response from the ESB that an inspection of the public lighting network had been carried out in October, the 60 to70 faulty lights were being repaired and that the ESB had responded to all customer complaints to date, Councillor Flynn commented –“this is an insult”.