By Cronan Scanlon
THREATS and intimidation by water protesters have been blamed for the loss of 50 jobs across Donegal this week.
On Monday, three companies were instructed by the main contractor, GMC/Sierra, to ‘stand down’ operations as it was no longer safe to do so.
One Ballybofey-based meter installation sub-contractor confirmed he laid off 25 men on Monday as well as a further six this morning.m Two more contractors were forced to lay-off a further 20.
A spokeswoman for Irish Water (IW) blamed the move on a number of instances of “targeted aggression” against installers in the Glenties and Inishowen areas.
“The safety of our staff and the staff of our contractors is of paramount importance to both Irish Water and our contractor, GMC Sierra. This work will be rescheduled at a later stage in the project to enable works to be carried out in a safe manner,” the spokeswoman said.
It is believed they came to the decision following an “almost riot situation” during a stand-off at an estate in Manorcunningham on Monday. However, Gardai have also confirmed they are actively investigating a more sinister incident in which an Irish Water surveyor was “approached by a number of men” in Moville last week.
Garda Superintendent, Eugene McGovern, would not elaborate on the specifics of the incident which occurred on the morning of Thursday, May 14. However, it is believed the man was held against his will for almost an hour and had his ID photographed before being released.
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