A voluntary redundancy scheme announced by Irish Water today will include a Witness Protection Program for any employees who fear for their lives after their friends and neighbours find out they worked for Irish Water.

The troubled utility company is planning to cut 1,200 jobs by the year 2021, with many ex-workers expected to partake in a program that will see them assume new identities all over Ireland, at least 800 yards from an installed water meter.

Aspects of the program include:

•Facial “reconfiguration” so you don’t look like the photo on your Irish Water security badge
•Vocal-chord realignment so nobody recognises you as the person who phoned up looking for a water payment
•Butt-crack reconstruction so nobody will shout “that was the prick who put in the meter,” should you bend down in public
•Hypnosis to enable you refer to H2O only as ‘Water’ (not ‘Irish Water’) from the point of redundancy
•Advanced training to feign ignorance to anyone asking you about something called a conservation grant

The new measures have been welcomed by Ervia, Irish Water’s parent company, who see the Employee Witness Protection Program as “absolutely critical to the successful uptake of the voluntary redundancy package, currently at 55%.”

Staff at Irish Water are said to be distraught at news that they might not have to do the glorious job of collecting money for the most hated tax ever seen in Ireland for much longer. It’s expected however, that JobBridge is on standby to offer them a different role as an unpaid sewer-rat catcher.