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Sinead Ryan: Give us back our water before we regain our Dirty Dublin nickname

Even though the forecasted snow never arrived this week, I felt time-warped back to early January when reading about people who STILL haven't got their water supply back.

It seems beyond belief that Dublin City Council and others continue to restrict supplies more than a month after the thaw. Apparently, they've threatened what passes for their customers with stoppages which they say can happen "at any time and any location", which seems ridiculously over-bearing given life is back to normal.

Not at the council it seems, where they're still forcing down supply and pressure so that taxpayers can't access that most basic of commodities.

Mind you, neither can they access anybody in the council as the work-to-rule means nobody is there to pick up the phone when they need advice on when their water might be cut off. It would be nice to think staff are all busily repairing pipes and making sure supplies are maintained, but I doubt it. They still have their filtered water coolers over which to laugh about, er, sort the crisis.

How long will the lack of H2O continue? That's anybody's guess. Before the capital regains its 'Dirty Dublin' moniker perhaps councils would be better off restoring supplies instead of issuing threats.

I was lucky enough to not have my water pressure affected and would be hopping mad now if it was only trickling. How is it possible that a few days of moderate snow brought about a situation like this a full six weeks later?

The council claims demand would increase "beyond what we are in a position to treat" if people could decide when and where to turn on a tap.

Well, whose fault is that?

Certainly not the baby waiting for a bottle or the child needing a bath. While dishes stack up in the sink and washing piles up in the corner, it would be nice to think the stick-wielding bureaucrats cared about the citizens. Some hope.

What does it say about us if we actually need a law to stop us smoking in a car with children?

Isn't it ironic that on the same day the long-awaited report on the rights of the child is finally published by the Oireachtas ahead of a proposed referendum, (following 200 submissions, 65 meetings, two interim reports and 166 TDs wrangling over the contents), a charity launches its campaign to get mums and dads to stop passing on carcinogenic secondhand smoke to children in cars.

Seriously, if we need a law to stop parents doing something that for most of us is blindingly obvious, things have got to a bad stage.

Winsome kids were pictured with models at the ASH campaign begging parents not to filter their nicotine through the enclosed space of the tin can they are strapped into. Smoke is 23 times more toxic in a confined space, according to studies.

Many parents I know who smoke wouldn't dream of smoking in their house, never mind the car, but there are obviously lots who do and are putting their children at risk from cancer.

How could anybody possibly need a cigarette more than they need healthy children?

And it's simply not good enough cracking open the window to 'let the smoke out'. It doesn't. Instead, it swirls around the car, and the child's lungs.

That ASH believes we need legislation at all is a sorry state of affairs, but it claims 14pc of children are forced to endure smoke in cars. It's a pity that we can have laws which keep our co-workers smoke free, now six years old, but not our children.

We won't let parents use a mobile while driving, but they can puff away on cancer sticks regardless. Nobody cares about what adult smokers do to themselves, but their children need to be protected.

You wouldn't think we'd need to say so, but there's obviously no accounting for bad parenting.

Let Blathnaid go solo on the chat sofa

I hope the rumours are true that Blathnaid Ni Chofaigh may be getting her own show on RTE. Firstly, it means she has recovered from her debilitating illness but it also puts a final nail in coffin of the dreaded afternoon slot which the station cannot seem to get right.

Perhaps the time has come for a good old-fashioned chat show -- Blathnaid and guests, without all the flower arranging, cake baking and home decorating. Yes, it was fun having the behind-the-scenes cat fights, diva spats and tantrums, (not for those actually involved, obviously), but we're done with it.

Blathnaid's a great presenter and viewers love her. But if RTE doesn't want her, it could try for a really different look. Aren't there a few highly paid former news types floating around Montrose these days? Ireland's very own answer to Ant 'n' Dec might make a return from the Dail and Washington respectively for a spot of afternoon delight. Just a thought.

Rachel Callaly

I'M sure the Callaly family are relieved to finally have the go-ahead to get a permanent headstone for their murdered daughter Rachel's grave after five years. It has been marked by a wooden cross because of an unseemly battle over whether it should bear her maiden or married name. The Callalys didn’t want her married name – O’Reilly – and who could blame them? Now, after winning their battle, they can erect a proper memorial. It is the final chapter in closing the door on killer Joe O’Reilly as the Callalys take Rachel home to her real family.

We're too small for porn

I’M fascinated by brave new plans to launch an Irish-based porn magazine for lads which is to be called ‘Peter ’, although perhaps ‘Peader’ might be more suitable. The publishing company believe s there’s a market for it and is hoping to use entirely Irish, erm, models for it. The website is “coming soon” according to the owners, as presumably, they hope readers will too. I’m not quite so sure. Isn’t Ireland a bit small for this sort of thing? You can’t walk down O’Connell Street without bumping into familiar faces, so who wa nts to open page 3 and find their sister’s best friend’s cousin languishing on a four-poster? The effectiveness of porn is its anonymity (or so I’m reliably informed). Still, anything which gives a hand to Irish models is to be applauded.


I CAN'T wait for the return of Masterchef tonight. Most people are put off by veggiechomping Gregg Wallace or the masticating John Torode – and the close-ups of them stuffing their faces as the contestants wince in agony are beyond cringey, but I love it. It's miles better than the stuffy old version with Loyd Grossman. Anyone who cooks for a family day in, day out, finding 10 ways to cook mince or chicken for fussy children, dreams of concocting a mouth-watering Michelin effort. No chance of that normally – but we live in hope.