City to help poor buy clean water

EMERGENCY measures to bring affordable water to the people of Galway are expected to be voted through the city council tonight.

It comes after the Health Service Executive confirmed 179 people have now been diagnosed with the parasitic intestinal disease caused by the water-bourne cryptosporidium bug.

At tonight’s meeting a number of options will be tabled including the provision of special vouchers for social welfare recipients.

This is being worked out in discussions with the Department of Social Welfare.

The mayors of Galway city and county last week suggested other measures to Environment Minister Dick Roche in a 12-point plan.

The city’s Mayor Niall O’Brolchain said he could not predict how the council will vote, but he expects there to be some relief for those put under pressure by the costs of having to buy bottled water.

“I do not know if the councillors will approve of what is being tabled, but I do know that there will be something put in place to bring affordable water to the people of Galway,” he said.

Despite the possibility of relief for people’s wallets, there is no prospect of normal water supplies returning in the near future.

The HSE is advising people to continue boiling all water used for drinking or in the preparation of food.

Local councillor Michael Crowe has welcomed the latest proposals, describing them as a breakthrough for the hard-pressed people of Galway.

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