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‘How can we wash our hands with no water’ – Miltown Malbay residents unable to follow health advice

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*Photograph: John Mangan

Miltown Malbay residents have highlighted their concern at being unable to follow recommended advice from leading health officials due to a burst water main.

On Friday, a burst main in Miltown Malbay left the town without a water supply and also has impacted on residents in Annagh, Ballymackea and Mullagh plus surrounding group water schemes.

Over 48 hours later, residents have confirmed to The Clare Echo that their water supply has not returned. Irish Water had an initial estimated completion time of 6am on Saturday for the necessary works.

Emma O’Brien told The Clare Echo she was “at a loss” that the supply had not been restored considering the advice from officials in the World Health Organisation and Health Service Executive for members of the public to regularly wash their hands to limit the spread of COVID-19.

“Ireland is currently in the middle of a pandemic, our best defence is to wash our hands regularly and stay at home. Can someone tell me how am I supposed to do that with no water,” Emma stated. She was disappointed with the lack of detail provided by Irish Water since the initial update.

Clare TD, Michael McNamara (IND) noted that businesses and residents in Miltown Malbay “have repeatedly faced water outages due to ageing infrastructure”. He contacted both Irish Water and the West Clare Municipal District area engineer for updates on the repairs.

“It is unacceptable that Irish Water have not delivered the upgrade three years on from its announcement of funding totalling €2 million for the replacement of 12.6km of old watermains in the Miltown Malbay area,” McNamara stated.

Páraic McMahon is Head of News & Sport with The Clare Echo. The Newmarket-on-Fergus native also writes for national papers including The Irish Examiner, The Irish Independent and The Irish Times along with doing work for RTÉ, Today FM, TheJournal.ie and The42.ie. A graduate of Mary Immaculate College, Páraic was previously employed by The Clare Herald and Clare FM. If you have a story, tip or some feedback for him then send an email to - paraic@clareecho.ie

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