Ireland’s community-owned rural water sector: background & early development

Until the 1950s piped water supplies were virtually unheard of outside of Ireland’s towns and cities. The case for communal piped water supplies in rural Ireland was raised in the late 1940s, the then Chief Medical Advisor, James Deeny, arguing that ‘the provision of piped water and, better still, a domestic hot water system should be our first consideration in household planning’. There was growing concern at the social consequences of an inadequate water supply, as the daily drudgery of drawing water supplies in buckets from wells, rivers or lakes
was cited as a reason for the flight from the countryside by young women in particular.
The absence of a reliable and safe water supply had potentially serious economic consequences for rural communities also. Industry, including the emerging tourism sector, required a water services infrastructure that was unavailable outside larger towns and cities......

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