Sinn Féin Hit Out at Drogheda being left High & Dry

The Drogheda Sinn Féin Team, Deputy Imelda Munster, Cllr Joanna Byrne, Cllr David Saurin and Cllr Kenneth Flood have slammed Irish Water and central government for their handling of the water crisis that has engulfed South Louth and East Meath since a water-main burst at the Slateen Water Treatment Plant on Friday 21st of July.

Deputy Munster said “The attitude of central government has been shameful. Hands off, aloof and distant. Despite the crocodile tears of their representative in Drogheda they have not treated this emergency with anywhere near the urgency it requires. We’ve been given false hope after false hope and there is still no definite end to this crisis”.

Cllr. Joanna Byrne said, “As elected representatives we have been reacting to every situation as it arises as best and as fast as we can. In the four days of this crisis I have liaised with Louth County Council to ensure tankers of water have fed businesses and residential areas throughout Drogheda. This has meant that tankers of water have come from as far away as Thurles, Carlow and Kilkenny. At my request there have been additional water resources made available for the Fire Brigade in Drogheda too with back-up tankers being deployed from Dundalk to ensure the Drogheda Fire Service have sufficient water to tackle any call out they may get.

“What is most vexing is that The Rosehall Water Treatment plant, that I am informed could serve 40 to 80 percent of the Northside of Drogheda, was decommissioned only two months ago. We need to find out why this happened and why was Irelands 6th largest urban centre left to be fed from only a single source?”

Cllr. Kenneth Flood said “I have been on the record from the very start stating that Irish Water was not fit for purpose. Instead of fixing the out of date water network their first priority was metering. For years we experienced water outages when the North Quay water-main burst and even after the funding was allocated to replace it, Irish Water still took years to finally get on with the job. Irish Water must be questioned as to why they have not run a temporary pipe between parts of that main are not damaged as they did during the North Quay water-main replacement works to ensure a continuous supply of water? This crisis has shone a glaring light on Irish Water’s inadequacies and they can not be allowed to continue as they are”.

Cllr. David Saurin has paid tribute to the people affected by the water crisis. Cllr Saurin said, “from The Order of Malta to The Scouts among others, there have been volunteer groups distributing water to the elderly and those without transport who are unable to access the Council Water Stations or to get water from the shops. In this heat it would be understandable if tempers were to begin to fray but at the water stations neighbours have been helping each other out, carrying heavy containers and keeping each others spirits up.”

Finally, Deputy Munster said “the Sinn Fein team in Drogheda will continue to respond to residents needs and requests over the coming days and will assist those in need in any way we can”.

Cllr Flood Outraged At Delay On Replacing Water Main

Kenneth FloodSinn Féin Councillor Kenneth Flood has hit out at Irish Water yet again over the water main at North Quay in Drogheda.

Councillor Flood said “funding for this project was made available last July and we were told work would be done in October. This work was postponed until February 2015 and businesses and residents were subjected to disruption and mayhem thanks to the Water Main bursting 6 times last year alone. Now, Irish Water has told us that work has again been postponed until at least June 2015. How many times is the water main going to burst between now and then? How in God’s name can it take over a year just to plan the laying of a 300 metre piece of pipe?”

Engineers from Irish Water and Tobin’s Consulting Ltd broke the news to councillors at last night’s Drogheda Municipal meeting adding that the work could take up to three months to complete. One of the reasons given for the delays was the envisaged traffic disruption. Alternative routes are being set up.

Councillor Kenneth Flood said “I asked if they had approached the Toll roads and asked for them to be used during peak times. That would alleviate a lot of the proposed traffic stress in Drogheda. At the minute, many people are going through Drogheda town, including the alternative route suggested, to avoid paying the toll because they simply can’t afford it. I myself do the same. It would cost me an extra €1,000 a year to use the Toll road. When this project begins there is going to be absolute mayhem.”

Irish Water have said there will be some disruption to water supply but they would make every effort to keep them to a minimum.

Cllr Flood also criticised Irish Water at their lack of communication with residents when the water supply has been disrupted. “Their website was never updated and my calls to their out of hours emergency service went unanswered. This isn’t good enough. We have had a commitment from Irish Water to keep residents informed but each time the supply is disrupted it is the same old story, or rather lack of any story. What provision has been made for drinking water to the areas while this work is going on?”