Wicklow People (West Edition) - - FRONT PAGE -

A SIG­NIF­I­CANT num­ber of vul­ner­a­ble older peo­ple in the south Wick­low area are still with­out tele­phone ser­vice three weeks af­ter Hur­ri­cane Ophe­lia.

Ac­cord­ing to the lo­cal com­mu­nity alert or­gan­i­sa­tion, many se­nior cit­i­zens across Shil­le­lagh, Ti­na­hely, Mul­li­nacuff and Cross­bridge have also been left with­out their emer­gency per­sonal alarm ser­vice as a re­sult.

Chair­per­son Annette Nolan said that there is a lot of con­cern in the area and ap­pealed to lo­cal peo­ple to check on their el­derly neigh­bours who are still await­ing the restora­tion of their phone ser­vice.

‘I have spo­ken to var­i­ous peo­ple who are still with­out their phones three weeks later. Their panic but­tons do not work un­less the phone line is up and run­ning. Any­one could un­der­stand a week or so but three weeks is a long time to be with­out a ser­vice and many of these older peo­ple are very wor­ried and up­set about it,’ Ms Nolan said.

Ac­cord­ing to Cllr Vin­cent Blake, a num­ber of trees did fall on ca­bles dur­ing the hur­ri­cane and some of the lines still ap­pear to be down.

Ms Nolan, who or­gan­ises reg­u­lar so­cial out­ings for lo­cal se­nior cit­i­zens said that many of them feel vul­ner­a­ble with­out their alarms.

‘They rely on these alarms and their phones for se­cu­rity and to make con­tact with the out­side world and they feel very ner­vous alone at home with­out them,’ she said.

It is un­der­stood that a num­ber of cus­tomers had their phone ser­vice re­stored on Mon­day but, ac­cord­ing to the Eir web­site, some 2,000 cus­tomers across the county could be any­thing up to eight more days with­out ser­vice, while re­pairs are on­go­ing. Ef­forts to con­tact an Eir rep­re­sen­ta­tive were un­suc­cess­ful at the time of go­ing to press.

Annette Nolan.

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