Newry City Councillor, Michael Savage has accused NI Water of treating the residents of The Meadow as second class citizens after flooding hit the area last week.

And he accused NI Water Officials of treating residents with contempt by not taking seriously concerns he raised with them about flooding issues in the area almost a year ago.

Councillor Savage said: "For the second time in a week the residents in Killeavy Road have been at their wits end as water levels continue to rise and toilets cannot be used as they are full to the brim.

One of the manholes in the area.
One of the manholes in the area.

"The majority of the residents of this area are elderly with some in poor health and some with special needs. It is a disgrace that an issue that has plagued them for decades has been totally ignored by NI Water.

"They cannot use their toilets and are afraid to leave their homes in case the water levels rise and they are flooded. To make matters worse the main manholes in the green where children play is constantly overflowing with raw sewage causing a serious health and safety issue.

"I raised this issue with NI Water last summer when there was flooding and again in November and again in January. In fact in January I walked the area with officials and local residents and was told then that NI Water would act.

"To date nothing has happened and I believe it is because NI Water now realise that solving this problem needs significant investment and they have adopted a sticking plaster approach by sending out tankers on request.

"I am demanding that they take this problem seriously and start the planning process now to completely upgrade the sewage and drainage system in the area and allocate whatever budget is needed to get this issue sorted.

"It is not as if this is just a recent phenomenon, it has been going on for decades."

Councillor Savage added: "This is having a major impact on the lives of residents who should be able to enjoy their later years in peace. One resident was due to go to a concert last week that her family had treated her to but could not leave her home as the water levels were rising. People should not have to live like that. They have worked hard all their lives and made their contribution to society only to be ignored when they need help, Enough is enough!"

Councillor Savage has written to NI Water requesting an urgent site meeting to discuss this growing problem so that measures can be put in place to deal with the threat of flooding as the autumn and winter closes in.

He added: "I do not want promises and words at this stage I want action and I will be making that clear to officials when I meet them."

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