‘You have to watch the kids like hawks’

Pat McDonagh with his wife Natalie and their children Pat, Luke, and Ava, who are affected by the boil-water notice. Photo: Declan Gilmore Photography
Homeowners living in the greater Newtowncashel area are keeping their fingers crossed that problems linked to a cryptosporidium outbreak will be eased over the coming days.

Homeowners living in the greater Newtowncashel area are keeping their fingers crossed that problems linked to a cryptosporidium outbreak will be eased over the coming days.

Like dozens of others, Pat McDonagh and his family were told earlier this month they could no longer drink water from their household taps until the problem had been resolved.

But rather than launch a stinging attack against those charged with maintaining water quality levels, the father of three said it was a headache he was prepared to accept-for now.

“It is an inconvenience, yes,” he said, as he faced into a possible third week of interruption. “I have young kids who when they get up obviously want to go and brush their teeth. You have to watch them like hawks.”

It’s not the first time Mr McDonagh and those living within the confines of the south Longford village have faced into water related issues.Fears over substandard chlorination treatment brought with it a similar precautionary boil water notice that eventually stayed in place for over two years.

Despite being eventually lifted towards the latter end of 2013, the return of a second, arguably more far-reaching safeguarding directive has raised concerns once more.

One theory water analysts are believed to be focusing their attention on is whether cryptosporidium anxieties may have been caused by rainwater run-off from agricultural land.

Not that Mr McDonagh was keen on apportioning blame. In fact the amiable south Longford resident appeared more eager to heap praise on the swift response from the likes of Irish Water.

“They were out very quickly in fairness,” he said. “And they handed out leaflets door to door about cryptosporidium.”

A spokeswoman for Irish Water, meanwhile, said more investigative work was needed to identify its cause ahead of the implementation short-term and long-term solutions.