Ireland is supposed to be a modern day country. One would expect to turn on the tap and see a clean, crystal clear, potable liquid streaming down.
Think again, because nearly 24,000 people across Ireland would beg to differ.
The recently published Irish Water’s 25-year plan contains a 116-page chapter listing out all the places whose drinking water is not up to standard, for one reason or another. And it is not a pretty picture.
There are currently seven counties affected by boil notices, but Co. Roscommon is by far the worst affected. A whooping 92% of its residents are currently required to boil their water before ingesting it.
In the village of Killeglan for instance, in Roscommon south, 6,000 are affected, and as a matter of fact, the top six positions in this dubious rank are all taken up by Roscommon localities.
Areas of Galway, Longford, Tipperary and Sligo pick up the remainder of the list, with isolated areas of Waterford and Limerick also dotting the wretched landscape of boil water need.
Worst of all is that some of these notices are far from new. In some cases, they have remained in place for over SIX years.
A boiled water notice means that water is unsafe to drink, and even brushing your teeth may pose a risk. Most households opt to purchase bottled water, at their own expense.
It is under this canopy of inadequacy that Irish Water is operating, carefully and lovingly preparing to print bills that will arrive through our letterboxes in the near future.