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Sinn Féin MP slams Water Service for failing people of South Armagh

12 August, 2005

inn Féin MP for Newry and Armagh Conor Murphy has today slammed the management of the Water Service for its 'failure to provide the people of South Armagh with safe, clean and drinkable water'. Approximately 12,000 -14,000 people are without drinkable water in towns and villages across South Armagh due to algae in the water supply.

Mr Murphy made his comments after attending a meeting today with the Water Service, Environmental Health and Public Health. Mr Murphy was joined by party colleagues Councillor Terry Hearty, Cllr Coleman Burns and Mayor of Newry and Mourne District Council Pat McGinn.

Speaking today Mr Murphy said:

"By the Water Service's own admission between 12,000 -14,000 people across the South Armagh area have gone without drinkable water for this past number of days due to algae in the water supply. In towns like Crossmaglen, shops have completely sold out of bottled water and people have had to travel to Newry to stock up on supplies.

"At today's meeting Sinn Féin requested that the Water Service install water tanks in each of the affected areas as a short-term solution to the problem - and they have refused to do so. This situation is completely unacceptable, particularly for the elderly and parents with young children at the height of summer.

"This is the second occasion in the space of 12 days that the water supply has become undrinkable. There needs to be a short-term solution as well as a longer-term strategy to deal with potential situations in future. Sinn Féin is calling upon the Water Service to remedy this situation immediately. Either they install water tanks or they provide bottled water to affected areas. Doing nothing is not an option." ENDS

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