A young business owner says it is ‘disheartening’ that she has repeatedly had to close her local salon on Falcarragh’s Main Street due to serious issues with the water supply.
The Cathaoirleach of Donegal County Council has already called for an emergency meeting between the local authority and Irish Water over the ongoing issues.
A number of businesses in the West Donegal town were forced to close their doors yet again this week because of water issues due to old pipe connections.
Roisin Gallagher, 20, took the plunge into the beauty business by opening ‘Roisin’s Beauty Bar’ in March 2018.
But her dream venture turned into a nightmare following consistent water outages which has affected hundreds of residents in the area for well over a year.
Speaking to Donegal Daily, Ms Gallagher says that she was unable to offer two staff wages this week due to closures.
“I opened the business 14 months ago and it has been happening since the day I opened my doors,” Gallagher said. “It is hurting my business completely because I only started recently and you need to start off well and because of this, it is hurting me big time.
“Two of my staff came in on Thursday morning, and the worst bit about this is that they don’t tell you that the water is going to be off.
“You have to find out for yourself and we have all come into work on Thursday and I have had to send the two of them home and three people, including myself, went home without a wage.
“It is very disheartening and if this is the carry on that is going to be going on then I am going to lose my career here in Falcarragh to where I will be better treated and there is a better system.
“You try to make a life for yourself and the government are going against you,” she added.
With Irish Water suggesting they will install a solution to the issues in the area in late 2019, Gallagher insists she has fear the problems could continue into 2020, something she says could spell the end for ‘Roisin’s Beauty Bar’.
“People are coming into Falcarragh and expecting to get a service and when they are not getting it they are not going to come back.
“They will go to other surrounding areas and Irish Water says October by the earliest but we know that never happens and these problems could continue well into 2020.
“It is a struggle already because Falcarragh is a small community in a rural area and you cannot afford to lose any business.
“I have invested a lot of money into this small business trying to make a life for myself and it is really affecting me and I am struggling to make ends meet.”
The Falcarragh native insists that water problems continue on much longer then she will have no choice but to relocate away from the area.
“If this continues for much longer then I won’t be staying in Falcarragh, which is sad, but I am still young enough I have the opportunity to get up and go.”
Weighing in on the issue, the Cathoairleach of Donegal County Council said Irish Water current plan for the area was ‘simply not satisfactory’.
Cllr Seamus O’Domhnaill said he demanded that emergency funding be put in place to upgrade the pipe network for Falcrragh and surrounding areas.
“I have had a discussion with the Chief Executive of the Donegal Council, Seamus Neely and we are going to set-up an emergency meeting with Irish Water to try and fast track funding and delivery of pipe replacement to elevated the problems that are there.
“Seven to eight businesses were forced to close their doors this week and that is not on,” he said. “No other utility company would get away with this that businesses have to close and Irish Water can’t let that happen either.”
O’Domhnaill echoed Gallaghers fears and said Irish Water were letting down the local community, labelling their actions as ‘disgraceful’ in light of recent closures.
“Irish Water need to step up to the plate and supply the people, who are paying for the water, with a proper service and if it continues for a prolonged period business in Falcarragh will need to make a serious decision.
“Is it sustainable at all to keep our business opened when we can’t guarantee our customers a proper and adequate level of service.”Tags: