Animal welfare concerns as Wexford farmers were left without water during the recent heatwave

Wexford IFA Chairman Jer O’Mahoney has expressed serious concern about a situation that has arisen during the recent heatwave which has endangered the welfare of farm animals.

r O’Mahoney said: “A totally unacceptable situation ensued last week when Irish Water reduced or shut off water supplies to hundreds of farmers in Wexford.”

He said areas stretching from Ballyhack to Kilmore were without much-needed water for some of the warmest days in the past week.

“The hardship inflicted on the farming community and livestock was avoidable,” he said, also commenting that the notification of the outages was “extremely bad.”

Mr O’Mahoney said Irish Water had sent information about the outages to local public officials and also through social media channels. However, he said that scouring social media is the last thing farmers think about when their animals are in distress: “If animals are yelling at you in blind panic, you most likely will not be scrolling through social media to find sparse information.”

Mr O’Mahoney told the Enniscorthy Guardian: “I had over a hundred calls and messages from Sunday night to Tuesday night regarding these outages.”

He said he worked with an Irish Water operations manager to get the information out to those affected.

“Many issues contributed to this potentially catastrophic event,” he said. “We have agreed to get together soon and set up an alert system for all farmers. There are IFA branches in every rural community and we plan to disseminate appropriate and timely information should problems arise in the future.”

When contacted about the matter, a spokesman for Irish Water said the state utility company “appreciates the frustration felt by farmers and the IFA and the concern for animal welfare, which Irish Water is very aware of and supports”.

However, the spokesman also commented that Irish Water had not turned off the water and that there had been an unplanned water supply disruption and that as soon as Irish Water was made aware of the supply disruption, a press release was issued to elected local media representatives and business associations in the region.

“The information would have been available on our website and social media channels,” the spokesman said.

“Our operations manager spoke to a local IFA representative this week to discuss the issues over the weekend, which shows how seriously Irish Water takes issues of this kind, that we are responsible for what is happening and that we have our role to play in relation on providing safe and clean water supplies to the public,” he added.

He emphasised: “Irish Water has a number of procedures in place to notify the public of disruptions and outages to the water supply. When supply disruptions are planned, Irish Water shares the information with the public through the website,, social media channels @IWCare and @IrishWater and also with the media, elected officials and trade associations via email.”

He said business customers who are registered with Irish Water and who have asked for notices to be sent directly to them will receive an SMS to notify them of a planned outage or disruption of supply. Animal welfare concerns as Wexford farmers were left without water during the recent heatwave

Fry Electronics Team

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