Fianna Fáil TD for Meath East Thomas Byrne has called on the Taoiseach to convene a taskforce to co-ordinate the response to the ongoing water shortage crisis in the North – East.
An estimated 70,000 people in Meath and Louth have been left without a water supply since last Friday. Irish Water has indicated that the issue will not be resolved until Thursday at the earliest.
Deputy Byrne said, “Tens of thousands of households across the North – East have been adversely affected by this disruption to the water supply. The first and foremost priority must be to ensure that everyone in the affected communities have access to clean drinking water.
“The Government response to this crisis has left a lot to be desired. Meath County Council and some officials in Irish Water have been doing stellar work in trying to keep the community up to speed on the latest developments. However there is no leadership from the Government in response to this crisis. There is no co-ordination and the provision of water tankers is being done on an ad-hoc basis.
“This situation also highlights serious issues with how Irish Water functions. The public were led to believe that the creation of a single utility would make it much easier to response to incidents such as this. However the events of the last few days demonstrate otherwise. Meath County Council and Louth County Council are clearly the ones providing the first response on the ground.
“The Taoiseach needs to convene a taskforce to co-ordinate the response to this crisis considering the number of people that are currently affected. The current situation, whereby water tankers are being supplied on an ad-hoc basis, can’t continue. People shouldn’t have to wait for hours to access clean drinking water. There needs be a level of foresight to determine what areas need additional drinking water before tankers run dry,” concluded Deputy Byrne.