A serious problem is escalating in the Mayo village of Murrisk at the foot of Croagh Patrick. The lack of a modern-day water supply has one villager performing wilderness feats to supply his home.
He is concerned about the fact that his wife is expecting a baby in the next few weeks and there is no clean running water into the house. The household is dependent on a pipe crudely inserted into a stream. The pipe moves when the torrent is fast due to heavy rain or, if it hasn’t rained, water does not get into the pipe. He tells of having spent hours on winter nights up the mountain, sometimes knee deep in freezing cold water, trying to get their water back by removing airlocks.
The connection between Westport and Louisburgh was agreed as far back as 2007. Access to clean water is a basic service which is being denied to these residents.
This is not only affecting people living in the area but also the thousands of visitors who climb Croagh Patrick every year. Tourism is a huge employer in the area. Without water, this area cannot hope to fulfil its true potential.
I have called on the Minister Eoghan Murphy to come into the Seanad to discuss this urgent situation and to find solutions; but he has, so far, declined the offer.
Meanwhile, householders are spending huge amounts on bottled water and treatment systems that they have purchased themselves and must maintain at their own expense.
What is the point of a ‘Rainy Day Fund’ when Murrisk Residents don’t have clean water in 2018.