Minister Mitchell O’Connor awards 40 students from under-represented groups 1916 Bursary Awards

The 1916 Bursaries, initiated to support access to higher education for under-represented students will be awarded to 40 students in a ceremony at the GPO Witness History Museum on the 17th April. The bursary scheme funded by the DES /HEA under the Programme for Access to Higher Education (PATH) Fund is aimed at increasing diversity in Higher Education.

The recipients, termed “Leaders and Learners” in recognition of the strong focus on education and equality of leaders of the 1916 Rising, are selected from under-represented communities and first-generation entrants to college, including lone parents, students with disabilities, Irish Travellers, members of other ethnic minorities, and refugees and asylum seekers

A UCD-led consortium comprising Trinity College Dublin, Marino Institute of Education, the National College of Art and Design, and the Institute of Art, Design and Technology – have come together to support the 1916 Bursary Fund. The recipients join a growing body of students already receiving supports through access programmes of the participating colleges. Bursary applicants were asked to outline their aspirations for the future, identify the financial and social impediments that stood in their way and give examples of how they had already shown leadership in their homes, schools or communities.

In her address the Minister of State for Higher Education, Mary Mitchell O’Connor, said: “These 1916 bursaries are a fitting tribute to the educational vision of those who fought for Irish independence. It is apt that they are being launched here in the GPO. The leaders of the Rising were also learners with a range of qualifications: nurses, teachers, accountants, soldiers and sculptors. Their education contributed to their involvement in the Rising and their vision of a new Ireland of equal rights and opportunities. A century on, we are still striving to make this vision a reality, and these bursaries show the commitment of our colleges to greater equity in education.”

Speaking at the ceremony, Professor Grace Mulcahy, Chair of the Consortium said, “just as it takes a village to raise a child, it takes the Higher Education Community to be truly effective in recruiting and retaining students from diverse and under-represented backgrounds; these bursaries are an essential component to ensuring that we continue to do so.”

Mary Mitchell O’Connor passes into law the Technological Universities Act: President Michael D Higgins signs the Technological Universities Bill

Minister Mitchell O’Connor said, “This is a transformative piece of legislation and I am delighted that it is now enacted. The Technological Universities legislation has been a high priority for this Government and will radically change the higher education landscape.

“The legislation will underpin the development of a new type of higher education institution, building on the strengths and mission of institutes of technology to develop world class technological universities.”

She went on to say “The creation of technological universities provides the opportunity to drive regional development and provide more opportunities for individuals, enterprise and the community. These institutions will have significant impact and influence regionally, nationally and internationally.

“I know that the Institute of Technology sector has been waiting for the enactment of this legislation before applications for Technological University status could be submitted by the consortia of Institute of Technologies who have come together.

“I am excited about the prospects for all regions with a Technological University. The presence of a Technological University, with a specific mandate towards regional development will have a transformative effect on communities. Enhanced higher education institutions will deliver the skilled and talented people that sustain enterprise and new investments. Ultimately it will make these areas more attractive places to live, raise a family in and work.”

Following enactment of the legislation, the next step in the process is for applications for TU status to be submitted to the Higher Education Authority for assessment by an international panel of experts. These will be submitted by consortia of existing Institutes of Technology, which have come together to seek TU status.

The Minister looks forward to the first of these applications being submitted in the coming months with a view to the establishment of the first Technological University in the current year.

Minister Mitchell O’Connor concludes successful Middle East trip

Mary Mitchell O’Connor T.D. Minister of State for Higher Education has concluded a hugely successful St. Patrick’s Day trip to the Middle East. She visited Oman and the United Arab Emirates.

The Minister said, “I am truly delighted with how our St. Patrick’s Day mission went. One of our great strengths as a country is our people and during my time in Oman and the UAE I have met some inspiring and motivated Irish entrepreneurs and business people who are strengthening our bonds with this region. I felt this week that my presence in the Gulf will only complement the ongoing work of our Embassy network and state agencies in Oman and the UAE, in promoting awareness and confidence in Ireland’s economy, as well as showcasing what we have to offer as a nation”.

A key priority of the Minister’s visit was to highlight the excellent quality of the Irish Higher Education sector.

During the visit to Oman the Minister met with her counterpart, the Minister of Higher Education, Dr. Rawya Saud Al Busaidi to discuss opportunities to further deepen the relationship between the higher education sectors in Ireland and Oman. The two Ministers discussed areas of academic and student exchange and the areas of research and development.

Dr.Rawya Saud Al Busaidi was fascinated to hear about the Minister’s recent passing of the Technological Universities Bill as she is keen to merge their Advance Science Schools with their Technological Universities to create Technological Hubs within Oman.

Dr Rawya Saud Al Busaidi has confirmed she will travel to Ireland in May to meet with the Minister and visit some of the new sites for Ireland’s Technological Universities.
Ireland currently hosts over 500 Omani students in our Higher Education Institutions.

In the United Arab Emirates, Minister Mitchell O’Connor met with the UAE Minister for Higher Education and Advanced Skills, Dr. Ahmad Bin Abdullah Humaid Belhoul Al Falasi. The UAE Minister was keen to explore how Ireland had strengthened its connections with industry and how it was developing future skills.

At the meeting Minister Mitchell O’Connor also highlighted the work that she and her officials were doing in the area of research and innovation within the Higher Education sector.

Dr. Ahmad Bin Abdulla Humaid Belhoul Al Falasi has also confirmed that he will travel to Ireland in June to meet with the Minister to visit some leading institutions that are spearheading the way in building stronger links with industry and creating work-ready graduates in new technologies.

The Minister made time in her busy schedule to visit the Royal College of Surgeons Ireland – a most renowned and much loved institution in Dubai. RCSI is a flagship institution in the UAE since 2006, with 540 graduates. She spoke with the graduates and lecturers on how the RCSI can enhance their footprint within the UAE.

While in Abu Dhabi the Minister went on a tour of Khalifa University where currently they have two Irish Deans. She met with students, both male and female, studying STEM subjects and heard first hand their experiences of doing both internships and studying in Ireland.

While in Dubai before travelling to Abu Dhabi the Minister met with Nadia Verjee, Senior Vice President of EXPO 2020 Dubai and in person the Minister confirmed Ireland’s participation in the event.

While education formed the central part of this five-day visit, the Minister also participated in receptions for the Irish communities and met with Irish businesses and business groups in Oman, Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

She visited Spinney’s Supermarket with Michael Hennessy from Bord Bia and first hand saw the huge array of Irish produce on the shelves. Over 50 products from Ireland have pride of place on the shelves of this UAE institution.

The Minister met with David Boyce, Aishling McDermott and Siobhan Naughton from Tourism Ireland who introduced the Minister to leading practitioners in tourism to Ireland. They discussed the huge benefit to Irish tourism that the 28 direct flights from the UAE to Ireland have had and also the huge benefit of the lifting of the visa requirements for Emirati citizens since January 31st 2018.

The Minister concluded her visit to the UAE by saying, “We have a huge amount in common. We are both hi-tech, knowledge based and ambitious countries. In my opinion we are natural partners. There is a very strong interaction at political level between our two countries and I sincerely hope that my St Patrick’s Day visit, will in some small way have strengthened our ties. There have been four Irish Ministerial visits since last November and I hope that my visit has solidified our warm and close relationship. I am delighted to have met with the Expo 2020 team while I was here and to have shared with them first-hand how committed we are to Expo 2020, with innovation being the hallmark of Ireland’s participation. I am genuinely thrilled that both Ministers for Higher Education and Infrastructure have confirmed a return visit to Ireland where we will be able to show them first hand the excellence within our Higher Education Institutes”.

Minister Mitchell O Connor meets her equivalent in Oman and they discuss Ireland’s Technological Universities

Minister Mitchell O’Connor is currently in the Middle East and has met with Her Excellency Dr. Rawya Saud Al Busaidi in the Department of Higher Education in Oman.

Ireland has over 500 Omani students.

Dr. Rawya Saud Al Busaidi asked Minister Mitchell O’Connor for her advice on setting up Technological Universities and how could Oman benefit from Ireland’s recent experience.

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Minister Mitchell O’Connor successfully steers the Technological Universities Bill through the Seanad

The Technological Universities Bill has now completed all stages, in both houses of the Oireachtas and will soon be signed into law.

Minister Mitchell O’Connor said, “This is a transformative piece of legislation and I am delighted that we have got it over the line. The Technological Universities Bill is a high priority for Government and will radically change the higher education landscape.

“The legislation when enacted will underpin the development of a new type of higher education institution, building on the strengths and mission of institutes of technology to develop world class technological universities.”

She went on to say “The creation of technological universities provides the opportunity to drive regional development and provide more opportunities for individuals, enterprise and the community. These institutions will have significant impact and influence regionally, nationally and internationally.

“I am excited about the prospects for all regional clusters with a Technological University. It will have a transformative effect on communities. Enhanced higher education institutions will deliver the skilled and talented people that sustain enterprise and new investments. Ultimately it will make these areas more attractive places to live, raise a family in and work.”

Minister Mitchell O’Connor leads largest Education Mission to India to date

Mary Mitchell O’Connor T.D. Minister of State for Higher Education arrives in New Delhi, India today (Friday 23rd February 2018) to lead the ‘Education in Ireland’ trade mission to India.

The trade mission is built around Education in Ireland Fairs organised by Enterprise Ireland in 5 cities; Chennai; Bangalore; Kochi; New Delhi and Pune.

Admission staff and academics from 20 Irish Higher Education Institutions will engage with over 2,000 Indian students during the Education in Ireland Fairs, making this the largest education mission to India to date.

Speaking prior to her departure Minister Mitchell O’Connor said; “I am delighted to lead the largest Education in Ireland mission to India to date, where 20 Irish higher education institutions will accompany me to promote the Irish higher education sector. Ireland’s Higher Education Institutions are at the forefront of research and innovation. We are known for delivering ‘employment-ready’ skills so students can transition smoothly into the workplace. This has been an important driver in Ireland’s transformation into a high tech, knowledge based economy. The possibility of gaining valuable post-study work experience makes Ireland a very compelling option for Indian students”.

She continued; “This mission is part of the Department of Education and Skills’ plan to substantially increase the numbers of international students studying in our higher education institutions, by 33%, from 33,000 to 44,000 by 2020”.

Minister Mitchell O’Connor will visit the Education in Ireland Fair in New Delhi on Saturday 24th February where she will meet with Irish higher education institutions and their Indian agents as well as Indian students considering moving to Ireland to study for a third-level qualification.

In New Delhi, Minister Mitchell O’Connor will visit Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) where she will witness the signing of an agreement of understanding between JNU and University of Limerick. The signing is the latest development in the relationship between the two universities which is focussed on growing research collaboration, the exchange of faculty, researchers and students and joint cultural programmes.

She will also witness the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between Birla Institute of Technology & Science and Trinity College Dublin.

At a reception to be hosted on Friday night by the Irish Ambassador to India H.E. Brian McElduff, Minister Mitchell O’Connor will announce details of two new programmes launched by Cork Institute of Technology and NUI Galway; open the call for applications for the ‘Government of Ireland -International Education Scholarships’; and launch the ‘Ireland-India Alumni Network’.

The launch of Cork Institute of Technology’s MSc in Artificial Intelligence and the new MSc in Business & Hospitality offered at NUI Galway’s Shannon College is expected to attract a high level of interest from Indian students during the Education in Ireland fairs.
Minister Mitchell O’Connor will travel on to Mumbai where on Monday 26th February she will meet with officials of the Government of Maharashtra and Pro-Vice Chancellor at Mumbai University to discuss how to develop further collaborations between Ireland and the State of Maharashtra in the areas of international mobility of students, staff and research initiatives.

Giles O’Neill, Head of Education in Ireland at Enterprise Ireland said; “India is now the fastest growing education market for Irish higher education institutions. Latest figures from Enterprise Ireland show a 90% growth in exports from the Irish education sector to India since 2013. In 2017, Higher Education Institutions saw a rise of 25% in the level of interest from Indian students wishing to study in Ireland. Based on the positive response and levels of interest we have seen from across India on this Education in Ireland mission, we expect to see similar growth in the next academic cycle. This is as a result of the commitment and resource dedicated to India by our international offices and academics in Irish higher education institutions. Most importantly, it is down to the experience those Indian students experience whilst in Ireland – a world class education, a tremendous life experience and something that prepares them well for their own international careers”.

The 20 higher education institutions participating in the 5 Education in Ireland fairs in India are: Athlone Institute of Technology; Cork Institute of Technology; College of Computing Technology; Dublin Business School; Dublin Institute of Technology; Dublin City University; Griffith College Institute of Technology Blanchardstown; Institute of Technology Carlow; Limerick Institute of Technology; Letterkenny Institute of Technology; Maynooth University; Michael Smurfit Business School; National College of Ireland; National University of Ireland Galway; Trinity College Dublin; University College Cork; University College Dublin; University of Limerick; Waterford Institute of Technology.

Higher Education Central to Success of Project Ireland 2040

– €2.2 billion will transform sector infrastructure
– Technological Universities will be the key to regional development

I am delighted that Project Ireland 2040 recognises the vital importance of higher education to our medium and long term growth as an economy and society.

There are two priorities for higher education:
• A significant increase in the funding available to support refurbishment, maintenance and equipment renewal across the system;

• Setting up a prioritised Exchequer supported higher education building programme to:

– Build the capacity of multi-campus Technological Universities and of Institutes of Technology to deepen the talent pool for regions and to drive research and innovation;

– Generate the additional capacity necessary to support increased enrolments and address skills needs at a regional and national level, including life-long learning;

In recent months I have seen at first hand the need for investment in all our higher education institutions. The case is compelling and overdue.

In parallel I have been steering the Technological Universities Bill through the Oireachtas. The Bill’s enactment is now very close.

Technological Universities and investment in higher education in each region will have a crucial role to play in delivering the skilled and talented people that sustains enterprise clustering and new investments.

The Government’s ambition for the regions will be met by investing in making places attractive for enterprises and developing deeply rooted sectoral clusters and collaborations built around higher education.

Technological Universities will be the beating heart of the regions.

We’re going to deliver eleven major infrastructure projects around the country as part of a PPP programme for higher education at Athlone IT, IT Blanchardstown, IT Carlow, Cork IT, IADT Dun Laoghaire, GMIT, Limerick IT, Letterkenny IT, IT Tallaght, IT Tralee and Waterford IT.

I am also working with institutions to ensure that private finance will also play an important role in the delivery of infrastructure in the higher education sector.

Over the ten year period of the NDP, the 7 universities plan projects (including those awaiting sanction) with total investment of over €3 billion to be funded with a mix of own resources, borrowing, philanthropy and Exchequer grants.

Examples of projects being planned by universities include:
• UCC: new business school, student accommodation, upgrade and expansion of Tyndall Institute, new dental hospital;
• DCU: enhanced capacity in teaching, research and innovation; new student centre, new sports facilities, additional accommodation and 21st century Digital Campus;
• TCD: New business school, E3 learning foundry, student accommodation, Trinity Technology and Enterprise Campus;
• NUIG: New student residences, completion of the Human Biology building and other campus upgrades;
• UL: New student centre, sports facilities, new student residences;
• NUIM: International Centre for Science, Technology and Innovation, new student residences, refurbishment of South Campus;
• UCD: New Teaching and Learning building, Science Centre Phase 3, Centre for Creative Design.

Project Ireland 2040 is an enormous step-change for higher education in Ireland.

The future is bright for our students and society.

Action Plan for Education 2018 Launch

 

The Action Plan for Education 2018, led by Minister Bruton, is the next step in the Government’s plan to make Ireland’s education and training system the best in Europe by 2026.

An Taoiseach today launched the Plan in St. Audoen’s National School with Minister Bruton, Minister of State Mitchell O’Connor and Minister of State Halligan.

Major international studies have recently shown the strength of the Irish education system. Ireland’s 15-year-olds are among the best in OECD countries in reading and are above average in mathematics and science. Our primary school students are the best in Europe for reading and maths.

The Action Plan for Education 2018 builds on this success and sets out a roadmap for how we plan to support education leaders on the journey to making Ireland’s Education and Training Service the best in Europe by 2026.

Minister Bruton launched a three year plan in 2016. The 2018 plan being announced today is in accordance with his commitment to putting in place an annual process where the government commits to concrete actions and strict timelines.

Some key actions in the 2018 Action Plan:

– School Excellence Fund: Support school clusters to undertake innovative projects in areas of Digital, Disadvantage, Creativity, Gaeltacht and School Inspection under the School Excellence Fund.

– Leadership: Support schools in deploying the recent investment of 3,000 extra posts of responsibility. Improve middle management structures in schools and empower school leadership with training, mentoring and resources. A proportion of the CPD budget will be dedicated to delivering on strategic priorities such as innovation and leadership.

– Brexit: Implement Foreign Languages Strategy to significantly increase the number of students studying a foreign language at all levels. Increase Erasmus uptake. Publish strategy to attract world-leading researchers to higher level institutions in Ireland post-Brexit.

– Digital: Implement Computer Science for Leaving Certificate in 40 schools. Implement School Excellence Fund- Digital to support schools in digital innovation. Progress new maths curriculum for primary schools to include elements of coding. Continue work of Minister’s Digital Implementation group of experts.

– STEM: Formally recognize outside of school initiatives at Junior Cycle. Develop new summer courses in STEM subjects and industry placements for teachers. Deliver 20% increase in take up of students doing STEM for the Leaving Certificate and 40% increase in female participation.

– Disadvantage: Update DEIS Plan – our plan to tackle educational disadvantage. Develop a more tailored resource allocation model for DEIS schools. Address barriers to higher education.

– Parental Choice: Enact the Parent and Student Charter Bill and the School Admissions Bill. Shortly commence Reconfiguration for Diversity process to deliver step up in number of multi-denominational schools.

– Higher Education: Enact Technological Universities Bill, with the first TUs to open in September 2018. Review quality of Higher Education, including the quality of teaching. Implement new model for allocating funding to higher level institutions to better align to national priorities and incentivise lifelong learning, innovation and research. Develop a consistent digital experience for third-level students.

– Wellbeing: Recruit 10 more NEPS psychologists. Provide more guidance to schools on the use of external providers. Publish Wellbeing Policy Statement. Expand Student Support Teams. Support Wellbeing programme for Junior Cycle.

– Special Education: Develop first ever In-School Speech and Language Therapy Service. Undertake comprehensive assessment of the SNA scheme to ensure we are achieving the best outcomes for children with special educational needs.

– Critical skills: Deliver new, revised literacy and numeracy targets given the success of Irish students in meeting existing ones. Increase number of students taking higher level maths at junior cycle and senior cycle.

– Curriculum: trial new assessment methods and commence work on reviewing senior cycle programmes; Implement senior cycle Physical Education as a leaving certificate subject in 80 schools. Develop new Religion and Ethics programme for primary schools. Implement Mathematics, Home Economics, History, Music and Geography to new Junior Cycle.

– Skills: Roll out Springboard+ 2018, offering all courses to those in employment for the first time. Conduct review of career guidance. Publish Entrepreneurship Policy. Develop 25 new apprenticeships and 10 new traineeships

– Teacher supply: establish a Teacher Supply Steering Group; build on initiatives already announced and develop a policy on Teacher supply to support the availability of relevant teaching resources across the system in the short-medium and long term.

– Gaeltacht: Implement Gaeltacht Schools Policy – for which the budget this year has doubled. Issue grants and resources for schools who have opted into Gaeltacht schools scheme. Commence Schools Excellence Fund – Gaeltacht. Commence new M – Ed programme for Irish language teachers.

– Ongoing Review: every agency under the remit of the Department of Education and Skills will be reviewed to ensure they are in line with our ambition to be the best in Europe; first reviews to commence in 2018

An Taoiseach said:

“Education improves our society, boosts our children’s potential and is integral to our economic success. Our approach to education is about giving every child an equal opportunity in life, and that’s why the Government is determined to build the best education and training system in Europe by 2026.

“The Action Plan for Education 2018 builds on achievements made during 2016 and 2017, and the focus this year on excellence and innovation means that we are embedding the extensive reforms already taking place within the sector, for the benefit all learners. This year, for example, we’ll be encouraging schools to work together on innovative projects; we’ll take steps to increase the number of students studying a foreign language and we’ll introduce PE as a Leaving Cert exam subject in 80 schools.

“As a Government, we are spending more on education, increasing teacher supply and investing significantly in new schools. The Action Plan for Education will help to ensure that this investment delivers the best possible results for students at every stage of the education system.”

Minister Bruton said:
“Education is key to delivering on our ambitions as a nation. It is the engine that drives economic growth. It is a powerful tool in breaking down cycles of disadvantage and ensuring every person is given the opportunity to fulfil their full potential.

“I’ve set the ambition to make Ireland’s education and training service the best in Europe by 2026. Thanks to the leadership and dedication of our education and training providers, this is a realistic goal. International studies have recently shown how far along this journey we already are. This Plan is our roadmap for taking us the rest of the way.

“The expectations from our education and training service are changing. The challenge in the years ahead will be to invest and transform our education system so that it broadens career paths, builds momentum around key curricular reforms, continues to break down cycles of disadvantage and embeds regional development.

“Since I’ve been Minister, the education budget has grown by €1billion. This significant investment shows the importance this Government places on Education. We are hiring more teachers and investing more to support learners with special education needs than ever before. We are seeing higher retention rates, exceptional outcomes in literacy and numeracy and better results in ensuring opportunities for those who come at education at a disadvantage. All of these investments and results show that we are on a journey to becoming the best education and training service in Europe”

Minister Mitchell O’Connor said:

“The focus of this year’s Action Plan on excellence and innovation is very welcome. Today’s launch comes when we have a new Systems Performance Framework and new funding arrangements in place for the Higher Education sector. These will see more funding for STEM courses, the introduction of an Innovation Fund and a performance fund to reward institutions who excel in particular areas, as well as new funding streams for research and incentivised life-long, part-time and flexible learning opportunities.

“Linked to these changes is the progress through the Oireachtas of the Technological Universities Bill, which recently moved a step closer to enactment. Technological Universities will provide an opportunity to drive regional development and provide more opportunities for individuals, enterprise and the community. They will have a significant impact and influence regionally, nationally and internationally.

“All of these changes fit with the overall focus on excellence and innovation across the education and training sector as a whole, and, as Minister of State for Higher Education, I am delighted to see how Higher Education will contribute to that during 2018.”

Minister Halligan said:

“Delivering a coherent national response to skills needs is vital as we build on and sustain our economic recovery. Some of the measures we’ll be taking to do this in 2018 include continuing to strengthen the apprenticeship and traineeship systems, supporting the development of an Upskilling Pathways Plan, implementing a strategy to attract world-leading researchers to Ireland in the context of Brexit, increasing the enrolment of postgraduate researchers and growing the number of programmes to support postdoctoral researchers, in partnership with enterprise.

“By equipping learners with the right skills and fostering strong partnerships between employers, higher education and further education and training providers, we will ensure Ireland continues to be an attractive place for international investment.”

What Being the Best in Europe Means:

• Delivering a learning experience to highest international standards

• Harnessing education to break down barriers for groups at risk of exclusion and setting the benchmark for social inclusion

• Equipping learners of all ages and capacities to participate and succeed in a changing world

• Leading in innovation and a broad range of endeavours, scientific, cultural, enterprise and public service

• Fostering strong relationships between enterprise and education and building strong bridges with the wider community

* BOIL WATER NOTICE FOR PARTS OF DLR *

* BOIL WATER NOTICE*

A Boil Water Notice has been put in place as a precautionary measure following a mechanical failure at Vartry Water Treatment Plant

29th Jan 2018 – Following advice from the Health Service Executive, Irish Water and Wicklow County Council have issued a Boil Water Notice for the areas supplied by the Vartry Water Treatment Plant.

The following areas in Dun Laoghaire Rathdown are included: Corke Abbey, Woodbrook Glen, Old Connaught Avenue, Thornhill Road, Ballyman Road, Ferndale Road from its junction with Old Connaught Avenue to Allies River Road, The Dublin Road from the junction of Old Connaught Avenue to Allies River Road, and all areas off these roads.

The Boil Water Notice has been put in place as a precautionary measure to protect approximately 65,000 people served by this supply following the mechanical failure of the chlorine booster at the plant. All water treatment at the plant must have adequate chlorine levels added to the water to make it safe to drink.

Irish Water will liaise with the HSE with a view to having the Boil Water Notice removed as soon as possible. Irish Water are carrying out chlorine dosing on the supply today and have put in place a water sampling programme to test the chlorine levels in the impacted areas.

In the meantime, all customers of this supply are advised to boil water before use until further notice.

Irish Water apologises for the inconvenience caused by the imposition of the boil water notice. We will continue to work closely with Wicklow County Council, Dun Laoghaire Rathdown and Dublin City Council who run the plant on behalf of Irish Water and the HSE to monitor the supply and lift the notice as quickly as possible.

Irish Water was recently granted planning permission to upgrade the Vartry Water Treatment Plant which will restore the plant and ensure it meets all drinking water regulations and safeguards public health. The contract to construct the upgraded water treatment plant is due be awarded at the end of 2018 and construction will take two years to complete. The existing water treatment plant will then be decommissioned.

For more information and additional advice, please call our 24-hour customer care line at 1850 278 278.

Water must be boiled for:

Drinking
Drinks made with water
Preparation of salads and similar foods, which are not cooked prior to eating
Brushing of teeth
Making of ice – discard ice cubes in fridges and freezers and filtered water in fridges. Make ice from cooled boiled water.

What actions should be taken:

Use water prepared for drinking when preparing foods that will not be cooked (e.g. washing salads)

Water can be used for personal hygiene, bathing and flushing of toilets but not for brushing teeth or gargling

Boil water by bringing to a vigorous, rolling boil (e.g. with an automatic kettle) and allow to cool. Cover and store in a refrigerator or cold place. Water from the hot tap is not safe to drink. Domestic water filters will not render water safe to drink

Caution should be taken when bathing children to ensure that they do not swallow the bathing water

Prepare infant feeds with water that has been brought to the boil once and cooled. Do not use water that has been re-boiled several times. If bottled water is used for the preparation of infant feeds it should be boiled once and cooled. If you are using bottled water for preparing baby food, be aware that some natural mineral water may have high sodium content. The legal limit for sodium in drinking water is 200mg per litre. Check the label on the bottled water to make sure the sodium or `Na’ is not greater than 200mg per litre. If it is, then it is advisable to use a different type of bottled water. If no other water is available, then use this water for as short a time as possible. It is important to keep babies hydrated.

Great care should be taken with boiled water to avoid burns and scalds as accidents can easily happen, especially with children.