A spokesperson for the Electricity Supply Board has ‘totally rejected’ claims made locally that the semi-state body left people in a part of Inishowen without supply for almost 18 hours last week in order to save on their over time bill.

Yesterday Sinead Bruton described the lengthy delay as unfortunate but explained that their crews needed daylight to repair the transformer fault at Burt last week.

One extremely angry Burt resident contacted this paper to say that in all her years she had never, ever spent 18 hours without any kind of electrcity.

“There was no storm. There were no weather problems of any kind yet it was well into Thursday afternoon before we got a supply restored - that’s an almost 18 hour delay in restoring electricity after the supply was cut before 9 pm on Wednesday night.

The local, who did not want to be named publicly, was still very annoyed yesterday stating that the lengthy interruption of electricity was ‘simply not good enoug’

She said: “No matter what the ESB say I think this was a cost cutting exercise. It used to be that the priority for the ESB was to restore supply to domestic homes. I often seen crews working with floodlights to ensure homes ere not left in the dark. That certainly didn’t happen here. While we all accept this was a major breadown it would seem the ESB sent a crew out, looked at the problem and then decided that they would wait until the next morning to carry out repairs. Whatever the reasoning, they simply left people in the dark. There was no attempt to restore supply at all that night.

“Many families here have young children and no alternative supply source.

“There is no doubt those with large supplies of food in their freezers will have to dispose of it.

“I’m not blaming the workers for this, but the total absence of any kind of explanation or apology from the ESB or even notice of when supply was to be restored that annoyed me. If you live in a rural area is any second rate service all you are going to get?

“I really am annoyed. They charge us all plenty and we deserve better than this.”

However, Ms Bruton said the problem was an extensive one which required substantial amount of repair work. A transformer which had blown had to be replaced and much of the work required daylight.

She also pointed out that most of the houses in the area had the supply restored on the night and it was a relatively small number which had to wait until the following day for supply.