Irish Water have been accused of dragging their heels in responding to concerns over water quality in county Cavan where 8,000 people are now without a safe drinking supply.

Residents in the town of Bailieborough and nearby areas say they first raised concerns over water quality last October but remedial action was not taken until this week.

A spokesperson for Irish Water said the source of the problem is the escalating level of the mineral manganese emerging from blocked Skeagh on the outskirts of Bailieborough, where the water treatment plant is located.

It is understood that recent heavy rainfall in the area is a contributing factor to the problem.