Thursday 19 July 2018

Burst main leaves family homeless for the second time in just 18 months

Jimmy Murtagh with daughter Sarah, left, and granddaughter Vicki at his flooded home. Photo: Brian Lawless/PA
Jimmy Murtagh with daughter Sarah, left, and granddaughter Vicki at his flooded home. Photo: Brian Lawless/PA

Conor Feehan and Elaine Keogh

A massive burst in a water main on the outskirts of Navan, Co Meath, has left the town without water and a family homeless for the second time in 18 months.

The burst on the Proudstown Road caused the road to collapse and flooded a house in the early hours of yesterday morning.

The majority of residents in the town have been left without water after the incident, which comes just a week after 70,000 residents were affected by a separate shortage in nearby Drogheda, Co Louth.

The water rose silently on Monday night and the damage was only discovered when one of the occupants got up to use the bathroom and found the floor beneath their feet was under water.Jimmy (81) and Joan (71) Murtagh's house was last flooded in December 2015.

"The same pipe burst that time and left us under three feet of water. The whole house had to be gutted and we were out of it for nine months," Ms Murtagh told the Irish Independent from her daughter's neighbouring home today. "We only got back in last September and now it has happened again."

She held back tears as she said: "We have lived here over 50 years. It is full of memories and it has just been messed up on us now."

A section of pipe lies on the side of Proudstown road at the site of a burst waterpipe which has left most of Navan in Co Meath without running water. Photo: Brian Lawless/PA Wire
A section of pipe lies on the side of Proudstown road at the site of a burst waterpipe which has left most of Navan in Co Meath without running water. Photo: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Meanwhile, Mr Murtagh was outside watching as two diggers excavated the road to expose the concrete asbestos main that had fractured.

"The last time this happened Irish Water said it could not take responsibility for the damage because it was a case of wear and tear, so we had to use our insurance to pay for repairs," said Ms Murtagh. "We cannot get insurance again."

On the other side of Navan, the effect was felt in the Beechmount Shopping Centre where Linda Tolan had to turn away customers from her Hairwaves hairdressing salon. In Daoine Óga childcare centre, also in the Beechmount area west of Navan town centre, its CEO Marie Daly said they were "at a crisis point because of the toilet situation".

Irish Water said last night the trunk main that feeds water into Navan town has been successfully repaired and water restored. "A temporary reinstatement of the road is taking place today currently and a permanent reinstatement in parallel to installing extra drainage and road gullies adjacent to the main to help eliminate further flooding of properties in the area," it said.

Irish Independent

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