Islands pray for break in weather as water shipped out

First consignment pumped onto Inis Oirr

Water supplies on the largest island of Inis Mor are said to be relatively good, but residents of the other two Aran Islands are experiencing shortages after prolonged dry spells this summer. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien/The Irish Times

Water supplies on the largest island of Inis Mor are said to be relatively good, but residents of the other two Aran Islands are experiencing shortages after prolonged dry spells this summer. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien/The Irish Times

Fri, Aug 8, 2014, 20:02

The southernmost Aran island of Inis Oírr has received its first emergency water delivery of the summer, while a third delivery has been made to neighbouring Inis Meáin.

Up to 120,000 litres of freshwater were pumped from ship to shore via Inis Oírr’s main beachthis afternoon to replenish its depleted reservoir.

Two similar loads have already been shipped to Inis Meáin and a third was due in this evening, according to Galway County Council official Tony Kelly. “We’ll keep serving the two islands until we get a break in the weather,” he said.

Inis Oírr co-op manager Paddy Crowe said the deliveries were very welcome, given that the population on both islands has multiplied due to a combination of Irish language students and tourists.

“However,we need a long term solution to this problem,”Mr Crowe said.”It’s a pity that we have to be praying for rain.”

Lack of rainfall and the limestone terrain on both islands has caused water shortages in previous years, with rationing last summer, and several attempts have been made to source new freshwater supplies.

Supplies on the largest island of Inis Mor are said to be relatively good.