Army called in to assist in water distribution in Drogheda

Supplies to be rotated in three-hour bursts but conservation urged by authorities

Some 33 tankers are filling reservoirs and 86 stationary water containers for distribution to locals. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Some 33 tankers are filling reservoirs and 86 stationary water containers for distribution to locals. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times


The army has been drafted in to distribute water in the environs of Drogheda as Irish Water, Meath and Louth county councils raise the number of emergency water stations to almost 100. 

The move follows the rupture of a major water main serving Staleen treatment plant, near Drogheda, last week. 

Up to 70,000 people in households and businesses centred on Drogheda but stretching from Clogher Head to south Meath have suffered disruption in water supplies since the main burst . 

Water tankers to support the distribution have been sourced from Northern Ireland and counties Wicklow, Fingal, Dublin, Westmeath and Waterford in one of the largest mobilisations of emergency water services seen in the Republic. 

In an update on the crisis on Tuesday afternoon, Irish Water and the councils said Our Lady of Lourdes hospital in Drogheda continued to be prioritised while supply was also being maintained to the commercial centre in Drogheda – including the Mell area, Donore Road, Marley’s Lane, Cement Road, Ballsgrove, Marian Park, Crosslanes, and some adjoining estates in the vicinity of these locations.

A restricted supply is in place in east Meath in Laytown, Bettystown, Mornington, Donacarney, Julianstown, Clope, Grange Rath and Gormanstwon.

Some 43 road tankers have now been deployed to supplement the mains water supply, to replenish temporary water stations and to supply priority customers around impacted communities. 

In addition 98 stationary water containers are in place across Louth and Meath and 8,000, five and ten litre foldable water containers are available from the councils for all communities affected in Meath and Louth. 

The local authorities have seven standpipes connected to water mains, six of which are in Drogheda and one which is in Meath.

The update said all hospitals, nursing homes and other residential centres for vulnerable users have contingency water supply arrangements in place and will receive a water supply throughout the day. Bottled water is also being delivered to vulnerable customers.

In Louth the temporary water stations are located at:
* Stameen on the Dublin Road
* Termonabbey
* Marley’s Lane
* Bothar Brugha or Hardman’s Gardens
* Ballsgrove shops
* Shop Street North Quay
* ClogherHead - outside the amusements on Main Street
* Collon side of St Joseph’s Church Lower Mell
* Right hand side of entrance to Marley’s Court, Marley’s Lane
* Drogheda Retail Park, Donore Road near Costa Coffee
* Termonfeckin outside the national school
* Manley construction site, Avourwen Meadows, Plantin Road
* Baltray at the 19th Pub

Under the rotation plan the following areas will be supplied with water from 6.00pm until 9.00pm on Tuesday:

* Marley’s Lane
* Rathmullan
* Rathmullan Road
* Loughboy/Mell
* Ballymackenny Road
* Highlands

The following areas will be supplied with water from 9.00pm to midnight on Tuesday as part of the rotation plan:

* Boyne Meadow
* Laurences Park
* Moneymore

The majority of Clogherhead area and the Clogherhead side of Termonfeckin will have some mains supply throughout the day. The reservoir at Castlecoohill is currently receiving water with the assistance of Ballymakenny Group Water Scheme and is being topped up by a number of tankers. This is being reviewed during the day and this situation may improve.

East Meath
The following locations have temporary tanks in place and are being replenished:

* Duleek: 3 (Church); 2 (St Cianan’s Villas); 1 (Industrial estate - fire service)
* Knockcommon/Rathdrinagh: 1 (National school)
* Rossnaree: 1 (Church)
* Ashbourne: 2 (Race Hill)
* Donore: 1 (Church)
* Lagavoreen: 1 (Entrance to housing estate)
* Grange Rath: 2 (Entrance to housing estate)
* Ratoath: 2 (National School Fairyhouse Road); 2 (St Paul’s School); (Nursing home town centre)
* Stamullen: 2 (Church)
* Clonalvey: 1 (Church)
* Ardcath: 1 (Church)
* Kilmoon: 1 (Snailbox carpark)
* Curragha: 1 (Church)
* Skryne: 1 (GAA pitch)
* Kentstown: 1 (Londis carpark)
* Ashbourne Town: 1 (Community centre); 1 (Retail park); 1 (Supervalu carpark)
* Bettystown : 1 (Tesco carpark)
* Donecarney : 1 (Church)
* Colaiste Na Hinse Secondary School : 1
* Mornington: 1 (Harry’s shop)
* Kilbride: 2 (Church)
* Drogheda: Deepforde housing estate

Customers must bring their own containers to avail of the water and are advised that water must be boiled before consumption as a precaution.

Details on the locations will be available at and on Twitter @IWCare and on Louth and Meath county council websites.

Customers can also contact customer care helpline 24/7 on 1850 278 278 or visit for further updates.