Updated: 26/07/17 : 09:17:57
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Irish Water to make fourth attempt to repair Drogheda water leak

Irish Water is due to begin a fourth attempt to repair works to a burst water main in the North East today.

A specially engineered section of pipe has been manufactured in Belfast - however residents are being warned that it could be the weekend before supply is fully restored to 50,000 homes in Louth and Meath.

The utility is also warning that the pipe may rupture again once the water is turned back on.

There is growing concern that similar burst may happen across the country due to ageing infrastructure.

"The problem might just be past three metres down and the pipe might explode again," said Louth Councillor Kevin Callan.

"So I've said to them again today: 'You've no contingency plan' Over 200,000 people affected now in the entire North East region, and you've no resources to deal with this'."

Yesterday, Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy said that he is "quite confident" that the water outages in the North East will be fixed soon.

The Defence Forces have been deployed to help man the 43 tanks and 100 temporary water stations across Louth and Meath.

Minister Murphy has apologised to the tens of thousands of people affected by the crisis.

"I'm very sorry for all the people who have experienced these severe water shortages," he said.

"We've had them all over the country over the last number of years, we've had them in Dublin in my own constituency as well.

"We have the tankers out on the streets, people coming to get water so they can given their kids baths, people without water for more than a week, so I know how difficult it is for people when they face this situation."