‘It’s 2022, not 1922′: Dublin housing complex still without running water one week on

Tap water in the 106 flats in Killarney Court stopped overnight last Tuesday following a burst watermains pipe

Noel McKevitt outside his home in Killarney Court. Photograph: Jade Wilson

Residents of a social housing complex in Dublin’s city centre have been without access to running water for a week now, with no timeline as to when it will resume.

Tap water in the 106 flats in Killarney Court stopped overnight last Tuesday following a burst watermains pipe on the road outside the complex.

Resident Noel McKevitt (66) has not been able to shower in seven days. “The last week has been terrible, really bad. I can’t go out and see anyone because I can’t shower,” he told The Irish Times on Tuesday.

Mr McKevitt has had motor neuropathy for the past 22 years, a disease that causes damage to the nerves in the arms and legs resulting in muscle weakness.


“I don’t have a bath here because I wouldn’t be able to get into it so I can’t even fill a bath with buckets. I only have a walk in shower, so I haven’t been able to clean myself,” he said.

Housing association Clúid, which manages Killarney Court, began supplying bottles and bags of water at the weekend after residents complained they had been purchasing their own at local shops.

“They have blue bags down in the court to use in the cistern in the toilet and bottles for coffee and things like that. The scheme manager has been dropping them up to me,” Mr McKevitt said.

“I just hope it gets sorted soon. I have a chest X-ray, ECG and bloods all to be done soon, but I don’t want to go anywhere if I can’t shower.”

Dozens of workers were on site at the housing complex on Tuesday trying to solve the problem which is affecting both residents and commercial units.

Irish Water said the disruption was a private side issue, and there was “no issue with public supply”.

This is the second time Sarah Quinn (27) recalls being without running water in her flat in Killarney Court in the last two years.

“We live in the centre of the capital city, this shouldn’t be happening. This has happened to our flat a couple of times in the last two years. It’s ridiculous. I feel like this is what my great-grandmother would’ve had to do, pouring buckets of water over ourselves to try get clean,” Ms Quinn said.

“There are people here with newborn babies and kids with disabilities. It’s awful.”

Ms Quinn claims one of the local shops had “put up the price of the water in the last few days” which prompted residents to ask for a shopping voucher from Clúid.

“They didn’t bring the water that’s out the back to collect until we said they should be giving us a voucher for having to keep going up to the shops to buy our own.

“I have to go to work and I bring the dog out walking so I’m seeing people and it’s not nice. I’ve just been using so much body spray and dry shampoo.”

“It’s 2022, not 1922. I don’t know how we’re without water this long,” 71-year-old Tony Walsh said.

Tony Walsh in his flat in Killarney Court. Photograph: Jade Wilson

“Last week I got a text saying there was a water outage and they were working on it, but here we are seven days later and they still haven’t been able to fix it. I don’t know if it’s a leak or what it is but surely to God that would’ve worked its way to the surface by now.

“The first two or three days there was water in my boiler and I said I’d take it easy because I didn’t know how long it’d last. Then on the fourth day the whole lot went. They are doing their best and they’ve delivered water up to us, but you’d think they’d have figured it out by now,” Mr Walsh said.

Clúid Housing told The Irish Times it “profusely apologises for the ongoing lack of running water” at the complex, saying it is investigating the source of the problem but does not yet have a timeline on when water will resume.

“We are in the process of sourcing laundry options and shower facilities to accommodate residents”, the housing agency said, acknowledging that the situation “is less than ideal for residents but are doing whatever we can until the issue is resolved”.

Jade Wilson

Jade Wilson

Jade Wilson is a reporter for The Irish Times