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Former Mayor of Clare, Tony O’Brien. Photography by Eugene McCafferty

Establishing Irish Water was a mistake, claims former Mayor

A former first citizen has criticised the government decision to establish Uisce Éireann due to the lack of information for householders in two neighbouring communities in South-East Clare who are subject to a boil notice. Almost 1,000 consumers in O’Brien’s Bridge and Bridgetown are affected by a boil notice, which was issued on August 25.
Last Friday, almost 1,800 residents in Killaloe, which is in the same parish as O’Brien’s Bridge for GAA purposes, were hit by a similar notice.
Councillor Tony O’Brien (FF) has claimed public representatives and consumers received a better service when Clare County Council was managing the public water supply, before this function was taken over by Irish Water, now Uisce Éireann.
In an email to Uisce Éireann on Tuesday, Councillor O’Brien stated he was inundated with queries regarding the boil notices issued to consumers in the O’Brien’s Bridge and Killaloe public water supply.
“In the case of the O Brien’s Bridge supply the boil notice was issued as far back as August 25 with no updates or any information as to when the water will be safe to use without boiling again or what the cause of the problem is. Similarly a boil notice was issued for Killaloe over the weekend past with no further information or updates.”
Speaking to the Clare Champion, Councillor O’Brien said he is very annoyed with the lack of information and communication from Uisce Éireann to public representatives and consumers.
The Killaloe Councillor said the national water utility had given no indication as to when people could “expect a proper service would be restored”.
“Water is an essential utility. Everyone doesn’t have access to social media or the internet and may not have seen this notice when it was posted online.
“I am annoyed that I haven’t received any information that I can pass on to people who don’t have access to the internet.
“Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael and Labour and those who set up this quango have an awful lot to answer for. Two communities within the same parish are now affected.
“When Clare County Council had control of the water supply, I could ring an official and find out how long the water disruption would take within an hour of making contact with the authority,” he said.
Following consultation with the Health Service Executive (HSE), Uisce Éireann and Clare County Council have issued a Boil Water Notice to protect the health of approximately 1,788 customers supplied by Killaloe Public Water Supply. This is due to operational issues which has impacted chlorination at the water treatment plant.
All customers supplied by Killaloe Public Water Supply are impacted. Customers can check if their property is included by visiting the Water Quality section of www.water.ie and entering the property’s Eircode or by calling the Uisce Éireann’s customer care helpline, open 24/7, on 1800 278 278.
A map of the area is attached and available to view on the supply and service section of water.ie.
All consumers affected by this notice must boil their water before drinking.
Uisce Éireann’s primary focus is and always will be the protection of public health. Drinking water experts from Uisce Éireann and Clare County Council are working, in consultation with the HSE, to lift the notice as quickly and as safely as possible. In the meantime, all customers on this supply are advised to boil and cool their water before use until further notice.
Uisce Éireann’s, Darragh Conneely acknowledged the impact of this notice on the community.
“Public health is Uisce Éireann’s number one priority and we would like to assure customers that the notice has been put in place to protect public health. We would like to assure customers that we are working to lift the notice as quickly as possible.”

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