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Water Outage

'I'm undergoing chemotherapy. I'm supposed to live in a germ-free environment': How the water outages are impacting residents

Though restrictions have completely been lifted, residents say water outrages are becoming a common problem in the area. / YouTube

“I HAVE CANCER at the moment and I’m undergoing chemotherapy,” says Skerries resident Anne Able (68), whose house didn’t have regular access to a water supply for the past five days.

“I’m supposed to live in a germ-free environment,” she adds. “Which is very difficult to maintain when we can’t have clean water to have regular showers.”

Anne was just one of many residents in the Dublin area who have been impacted by ongoing water supply problems over the past six months. Most recently, they had a water outrage that started last Wednesday evening.

Extremely strict restrictions were lifted last night but some barriers remain in place. Irish Water last night said that “in order to avoid widespread water outages it is likely that reduced night-time restrictions will be placed on the supply from Tuesday 12 June to Thursday 14 June from 10pm to 6am nightly”.

Fingal County Council and Irish Water both say they are hopeful that if water conservation measures are implemented in homes and businesses, the restrictions will be be lifted in full for the weekend.

In the past week, the authorities were trying to maintain some supply to all households – for at least for the morning time between 6am to 10am – but some properties on the edge of the network found themselves more severely affected and without any running water.

Resident Karen Power was one of those residents who couldn’t access water during those times because her house is located on a hill.

“It’s absolutely ludicrous in this day and age we don’t get water because we live on a hill,” she told the

“My family’s been lucky that we have family nearby,” she says, “so we’ve been able to go over there and get showered and cleaned every couple of days, though in-between we’ve had to wash down the kids and ourselves with water wipes.”

She says that Irish Water initially delivered one tanker to provide for their local area and that it took calls from frustrated residents to bring more down.

“People are very angry at this stage,” she says. “This isn’t the first outage we’ve experienced.

“There is a significant ongoing issue with water in the area,” she says.

She says there doesn’t seem to be enough water supply for housing developments that have been granted planning permission in the area.

She says her family lost water for five days in March and over Christmas – a worrying trend that makes her think outages like this will happen every couple of months.

Local councillor Tom O’Leary says residents are annoyed and frustrated.

“I’ve been getting complaints for six months and people were being very quiet and reserved,” he told

“Naturally they’ve bought new homes and they don’t want to devalue their homes,” he adds. But he says they’ve had enough and aren’t going to keep quiet anymore.

People are coming home from work – two income families working really hard to pay for their mortgage that they saved up for…and they don’t know if they can have a shower at the weekend.

Although restrictions have now been lifted, there are no guarantees that all areas will receive full water supply, especially those on high ground. The utility also said some customers are reporting airlocks in their system as a result of having no water. It has provided information (available at this link) for those affected by that particular issue.

Irish Water has said anyone with a disability, or who is vulnerable in some way, and has trouble getting to the water tankers provided can contact Irish Water and be placed on the vulnerable customer register by ringing 1850 274 274. Water can then be delivered to them.

“There’s a fundamental issue here I feel,” says Anne after speaking to about her diagnosis and treatment.

“I don’t know why all the houses got planning permission in this area if there isn’t a capacity to supply them with water.

“It’s a basic human right,” she says. “I think that needs to be investigated and I think the politicians need to answer those questions.”

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