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Anger at water problems welling up in Tulla

Joe Cooney helps Pat Lynch, owner of An Teach Ól, and son Jack pump water into his tank. Photograph by Declan MonaghanBusinesses and residents in Tulla are looking to form a committee aimed at addressing water shortage issues in the village in light of the ongoing problems with the local supply.

Publican Pat Lynch of An Teach Ól is calling for a new community group to be set up which would co-ordinate with the county council with a view to boring a new well adjacent to the existing Tulla reservoir to offer the village a back-up supply.
Businesses, schools and local residents have been hit by water shortages and have had supplies cut off completely in certain areas for the past two weeks.
Mr Lynch is appealing to other business people in the community as well as local residents to contact him with a view to organising a group aimed at resolving the supply issue.
“There’s a lot of talk in the town about people boring their own wells. The solution to this would be if you bored a well below the reservoir and had it as an extra supply. That would solve the problem. I would like to get a committee going to see if we could row in with the council and work this out. I’m anxious that such a committee would be set up and I think a second water source would be the way forward. Financially speaking, it would not be too hard to get it together. People are so fed up with the situation at the moment and we could run a few fundraisers. Boring a new well to service the reservoir as a back-up service is what we would be looking for and I’d hope that the council could work with us,” Mr Lynch said.
Speaking about what he has experienced in his own business, the publican said the lack of water has made it virtually “impossible to run”.
“It’s a crazy situation. There is no water for the toilets, for the ice machine or for the dishwasher, it is impossible to run a business. The toilets are a major problem and we have to explain it to customers and have to economise the flushing. While the water is off now, it is an ongoing problem in Tulla and has been for a long time. It’s affecting people all over Tulla but the top of the hill is usually the first to go and they’re last to come back,” he explained.
Meanwhile, schools in Tulla have also been hit and St Mochulla’s National School has had a parent supplying their tanks with water so the children can have toilet and washing facilities. St Joseph’s Secondary School is coping well as their water tank has a large capacity but it too has no mains supply.
Councillor Joe Cooney has highlighted the need for the situation to be rectified but says he would hope residents would avoid boring their own wells as a public water supply is available to them. 
“I complement the work the council are doing but something more has to be done in the long term. I will be calling on Clare County Council to see what more can be done to give a proper water supply to Tulla, which they deserve. Business people are talking about raising money themselves. The schools have had no water and the laundrettes in Tulla were without it also. The council is doing its utmost to keep water in Tulla and to try to rectify this problem but people are talking about boring their own well and it’s wrong to hear people doing that. We would prefer it not to come to that,” Councillor Cooney said.
Meanwhile, a spokesperson for water services in East Clare has said that the water has had to be cut off for periods between 11am and 4pm and again from 8pm to 8am in areas of East Clare in order to replenish the reservoir in Tulla, such is the demand.
He explained that while these measures are needed they will remain in place but stressed that things were being assessed on a continuous basis, with a view to fully restoring the supply.
“We’ve had a lot of problems with leaks and bursts throughout the East Clare area and we would like to renew our appeal to the public to conserve water while we continue to repair leaks and we apologise for this inconvenience. Cutting off the water is a day-by-day thing that has to occur because to meet the demand we need to boost the supply. We are currently repairing leaks across the region and we would ask people to advise us of leaks and we will review things,” he said.
Asked about whether the county council would be interested in liasing with a local committee regarding pressure and demand issues on the local water supply, Seán Lenihan, senior engineer in the Killaloe Electoral Area, said the council would certainly be open to discussions.
“We would work with a committee if one was set up and we would be very willing to receive commentary and to discuss some of the issues that they are experiencing. They may be issues that we have considered ourselves,” he said.
Mr Lenihan added that while an alternative source may be available in Tulla, he said that there is a case to be made in relation to quality.
“We are all after the same thing at the end of the day and that is to offer a quality water supply. If there is a suitable local source that can be found to supplement the water supply, then it should receive consideration. It should be said that there are requirements and restrictions so it’s not as simple as just boring another well,” he added.


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