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Burst water pipeshuts businesses,diverts traffic andcuts off supply to homes in Swords

A BURST main in Swords crippled businesses in the town and left homes without water for most of yesterday.

The pipe exploded in the centre of the road, close to the garda station, just after 5am, spewing water and gravel down the street.

Emergency teams repaired the pipe by 5pm, but secondary damage in the network meant supplies were still cut off late last night.

The street was also closed to traffic which had to be diverted.

The damage cut off water supplies to the immediate area, Seatown Road, Spittal Hill Road and Seatown Park.

Mark Quinn, who runs the Look No Hands Mam coffee shop in the Plaza shopping area off the main street, said he had been forced to "buy a water pressuriser and bring in water supplies" to try to stay open all day.

"Today was a logistical nightmare," he said. "We've managed to keep going all day and luckily we have loyal customers."

June Rutland of Ultimate Style hairdressers in Main Street said she had managed to keep open.

"I have a water tank but tomorrow is my busiest day and I will have to close if I have no water," she said.

Ms Rutland said "about 98pc of the businesses along here have been affected. Workers have gone home.

"When we came in this morning the road looked like something had exploded under it. There were stones everywhere."

Farther down the street, Paddy O'Neill of Kyle's Catering who caters at the Cock Tavern pub said he had some water in the tank "but if this continues we will have to close".

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He added that the water stoppage was "nothing new".

"The pipes on the street have burst so often that the surface of the road is like a jigsaw with all the patches," he said.

A spokesperson for Irish Water told the Herald that the problem was "on an ancient six-inch main in the centre of town at a junction heavily tracked for decades by lorries, buses, cars and heavy vehicles".

"The pipes are in very poor condition, with frequent bursts arising from this," they added.

csheehy@herald.ie


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