Call in the tankers: businesses call on Irish Water to start providing water supplies


The Coach House Hotel in Ballymote.
The Coach House Hotel in Ballymote.

Is it time Irish Water or Sligo County Council started delivering water to communities in need of fresh drinking water?

Coach House Hotel Head Chef/Manager Mags Melia believes the added cost on businesses warrants some sort of effort from the state bodies at this stage.

“They brought tankers of water to Leitrim – why aren’t we treated the same? It’s scary going forward. The cost – I wouldn’t hazard a guess as to how much money we’ve spent at this point,” she said.

Irish Water have promised a 30 per cent discount to customers as a result of the boil water notice but Mags has yet to receive this:

“There is no communication. There is a complete lack of communication with Irish Water and businesses.

She’s also critical of some politicians on the matter.

“Some of our local representatives are very proactive. Others just have taken a side-step away from it and you’d wonder is it politically motivated.

“You’d wonder what’s happening with the water? Why isn’t the water coming back clear? This is 2018. We should be in a better place at this point in time,” she said.

“These notices are monthly – every month they are “investigating reports of”. I don’t know anybody (with cryptosporidiosis) so where are the reports coming from?” she asked.

“Why isn’t it made public knowledge where the reports are coming from?

“Is it politically motivated? Is it because we need a new water treatment plant and this has all been left hanging in the balance to see where we’re going to go?” she said.

“For businesses going forward they have to do something. They have to come clear on where they are. We are not being given any information. It took you to come here today to tell me we have a boil water notice in place for another month,” said Mags.

“That is going to be our peak season. Our rooms are booked out until the first week in September so straight away you’re thinking that’s more water to buy.

“We are working very, very hard as a team to get where we need to get,” she said.

It hasn’t affected the Coach House attracting guests to the hotel. It lies in a central location for people interested in Carrowkeel, the caves of Keash, Eagles Flying birds of prey sanctuary and other attractions in South Sligo.

“The costs are escalating – we buy our ice, our water, we have to pay a guy to bring in water for our food prep because if you’re boiling pots of water constantly, the amount of money you’re spending on energy – you can’t keep that water boiled.

“We need help and we need them to come and speak with us, we need dialect, communication, full stop,” she said.

Sligo Champion