by Matthew Austin , Pamela Fitzpatrick November-28-2023 in Commercial & Business


The High Court delivered its judgment in the judicial review proceedings taken by the University of Limerick and Plassey Trust Company Limited against Irish Water (Uisce Éireann) on 27 November 2023.

The judicial review proceedings were taken against Irish Water (Uisce Éireann) arising from its decision to reclassify the supply of water to the student accommodation as “non-domestic” supply, and therefore liable to water charges.

In finding in favour of the applicants, Ms Justice Bolger concluded that the university’s student accommodation satisfies the definition of a “dwelling” in the Water Services (2) Act, 2013 (as amended) and therefore the supply of water by Irish Water/Uisce Éireann to the university’s student accommodation, during the academic year, is the provision of water services to a “dwelling” within the meaning of the legislation .  The legislation provides that Irish Water (Uisce Éireann) shall not charge for the provision of water services to a dwelling.  The Judge found that Irish Water (Uisce Éireann) is not entitled to charge for the water provided to the university’s student accommodation within the statutory constraints of the level of use and the allocation of domestic allowances.

The Judge made a declaration that the units constituting of the student accommodation constitute dwellings within the meaning of the legislation.  The matter has been put back to 11 December 2023 for the purposes of determining the final Orders to be made by the Court.

The University of Limerick and Plassey Trust Company Limited were represented in the case by Matthew Austin (Partner) and Pamela Fitzpatrick (Senior Associate) of Hayes solicitors, together with Micheál O’Connell SC and Nathan Reilly BL.

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