Loughmacrory to feature on BBC1’s The One Show on Thursday 22 January
The water crisis in Northern Ireland affected thousands in recent times and the announcement today that a resolution has been reached, bringing an end to the Industrial Action, will certainly be welcomed by all.
Word of the crisis, which was felt so strongly in the west also made it’s way across the water and BBC’s The One Show engaged a crew to do a feature on how the communities coped and managed in the face of the adverse conditions and loss of water supplies.
On Wednesday a team from BBC’s The One Show travelled to the community of Loughmacrory where they carried out a feature on how the community rallied together to ensure that as much was being done as possible to help those in need. In talking to a number of local people including Local Councillor, Anne-Marie Fitzgerald, who, along with Declan McAleer, had spearheaded a community action group to help alleviate the difficulties which had been felt by so many in the community and surrounding regions. Indeed, through a large volunteer effort and indeed hugely appreciated help from the Red Cross, a great deal was done in overcoming the difficult conditions many people found themselves in.
Declan McAleer, who is Chairman of the Loughmacrory Community Development Association and is also an MLA said “I welcome the end of this dispute that has brought major disruption to the lives of thousands of people in the Loughmacrory and wider area. However, at the meeting today with the Minister and Chief Exec of NI water, I raised concern about the effectiveness of the contingency plan NIW had in place to deal with this crisis. In particular, I felt that older people, families with young children and people with disabilities were left particularly vulnerable as a result of the water being cut off. I feel very strongly that community organisations were literally left to ‘Carry the Can’. Lessons must be learnt and I welcome the Ministers decision to invite the utility regulator to carry out a review of how NIW handled the situation. It would also be important for DRD to scrutinise their role during the dispute. This would be important in order to minimise the community impact of any future disruption of supply”.
Loughmacrory as a community has seen a hugely positive volunteer ethic in recent times with the launch of a major project in June 2014 and steering a host of national and international events in the past calendar year. The unified approach by groups within the community has seen such a positive progression in the community in general and this latest crisis again highlighted that.
Claire McCollum was there from The One Show to interview and look at this community spirit while travelling to meet a few local people within the community who had certainly felt the affects of the water crisis.
You can watch the feature on The One Show on BBC1 on Thursday 22nd January 2015 at 7pm.