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Dublin water shortage "causing huge concern"

31 October, 2013

Dublin Sinn Féin City Councillor Mícheál Mac Donncha has said that the as-yet-unidentified problem with water at the Ballymore Eustace treatment plant and the resultant drop in water supply is causing "huge concern". He was also critical of the comments of Environment, Community & Local Government Minister Phil Hogan.

Speaking after attending this afternoon's meeting of the City Council Corporate Policy Group (made up of City Council managers and committee chairs), which heard a report on the situation, Cllr. Mac Donncha said:

"There is huge concern across the Dublin region at the prospect of restrictions on water supply every night and morning from 8pm to 7am until next Monday at least. This affects householders and businesses and essential services.

"It is also of serious concern that City Council engineers have not yet been able to identify exactly what the problem is with the water at the Ballymore Eustace treatment plant which supplies water to well over half the greater Dublin region.

"We are assured that the engineers and Council officials are doing their utmost to resolve the problem which, they state, appears to arise from a change in the composition of the water. We are assured also that there is no public health risk from the water.

"I support the call for all water users to conserve water as much as possible.

"The comments of Minister Phil Hogan criticising Dublin City Council can only be described as hypocritical. While people in Dublin experience a water shortage, water meters are being installed across the city on Minister Hogan's orders, to charge people for water they have already paid for through both general taxation and the so-called local property tax.

"Minister Hogan's Government has slashed funding for local authorities and left them in the dark about how the transfer of water services to Irish Water from 1 January will affect their finances. Because of this uncertainty and the uncertainty over what funding we will receive from the Local Government Fund in 2014, Dublin City Council is unable to plan its budget.

"The funds being wasted on installing water meters and establishing Irish Water should be used to upgrade our creaking water services in Dublin and across the State." 

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