Donegal caravan park owner ‘livid’ over water issues

A local caravan park and camping facility owner is being forced to give visitors buckets of water for the toilets due to water supply issues in Inishowen.

Friday, 23rd July 2021, 12:38 pm

Christina McEleney of Binion Bay Caravan Park and Camping Facility in Clonmany told the Journal she is ‘livid’ at what she says was a ‘lack of communication’ by Irish Water to businesses and residents in the area.

Irish Water has said high demand for water in Donegal is putting pressure on supplies. They told the Journal how night-time restrictions are in place in some areas with ‘further restrictions likely’ in Clonmany, Carndonagh, Malin, and Gleneely.

However, Christina, who ‘pays 1000s’ per year for her water supply, said she received a text to her business phone on Monday evening, which said there may be ‘disruption.’

“That’s acceptable, we all have to deal with that. But the water went off on Tuesday night around 7pm and didn’t come on until 8am. I rang Irish Water and after a lot of questioning, I was finally told the water would be off from 8pm to 8am until July 26. No-one was told about this. We have a couple of hundred people here. We’re in a heatwave, in a pandemic and Inishowen has the highest rate of Covid 19 in the country. They’re telling is to wash our hands and we have no water.”

Christina has supplied extra sanitiser for cleaning hands and purchased a storage tank. Visitors have to take buckets of water with them to the toilets, which, she said, is ‘unacceptable.’

There has been much concern expressed that water from the Eddie Fullerton Dam, in the Illies, is being pumped to homes in Letterkenny, while areas in Inishowen, such as Clonmany, aren’t connected to it.

Donegal County Councillor Martin McDermott said the areas not connected need to be, ‘so we have a back up plan.’

“Water is being pumped to Letterkenny, but Inishowen needs to be looked at first. The Eddie Fullerton Dam needs to be connected to these areas so that we have a back-up plan. There’s no quick fix and unfortunately it’s not going to solve this week’s problem, but it has to be done.’

Colr McDermott said he has been trying to relay information about restrictions as best he can, but described Irish Water’s communication as ‘terrible.’

He said they should provide information regularly on channels such as local radio.

Irish Water appealed to customers to conserve water as ‘demand surges.’

They added that night time restrictions when applied are reported on their website at https://www.water.ie/help/supply/?map=supply-and-service-updates

They added how they are ‘continuously monitoring’ the current conditions, network demands and raw water source availability and will advise customers of any changes and further restriction as the dry spell continues.