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Thousands left without water in Ireland during Christmas

Northern Ireland Water chief resigns after 50,000 homes and business were left without water for almost two weeks during the festive period.

Northern Ireland Water chief resigns after 50,000 homes and business were left without water for almost two weeks during the festive period.

Ireland experienced major water supply problems throughout the country during the Christmas period due to record low temperatures.

Irish councils had to impose water restrictions or cut off supply to deal with burst pipes and a record increase in demand.

The situation was particularly severe in Northern Ireland, which suffered a record number of burst pipes during the thaw that followed days of freezing temperatures.

Thousands of people had to queue for emergency supplies from tankers as homes were left without water for up to 13 days, and half-a-million litres of water had to be sent from Scotland to help with supplies.

The public complained about lack of information as NI Water's phone lines were jammed and its website lacked updated information.

The Northern Ireland Executive, which owns NI Water, criticised the company for failing to prepare for disruption following December's freezing weather.

Following the increasing pressure on him to resign, the company's chief executive Laurence MacKenzie stepped down on 5 January 2011 apologising for the mishandling of the crisis during Christmas and New Year.

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Celtic Countries is the online magazine for people who enjoy the Celtic nations, their natural splendour, culture, and lifestyles.

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