PR's of the week
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PR's of the Week 03/03/23

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Every week we take a look at the stories sent through MediaHQ’s press release distribution tool and post the best covered ones in a weekly blog. For this week, Irish water, Health and Safety Authority and Saint Gobain Ltd made it to the top of our list.

1) Irish Water 

Title: Update – Uisce Éireann appeals to communities across all North County Dublin to conserve water and help supply return to impacted customers

Author: Nuala Hansard 

Email delivery rate: 97%

Time of release: 12:39 on the 26th February 

Coverage examples: 

Update – Uisce Éireann appeals to communities across all North County Dublin to conserve water and help supply return to impacted customers 


Connection of major new pipeline successfully completed and water slowly returning


26 February 2023 - Uisce Éireann, in partnership with Fingal County Council is progressing the final phase of construction of a major new pipeline between Ballycoolin Reservoir and Swords, to secure the water supply for over 350,000 customers across North County Dublin. 


In order to safely connect the new pipeline to the public network, the water supply to North County Dublin was switched off from 1am this morning. Water services crews worked throughout the night and have successfully completed the connection works and water is beginning to slowly return. Crews will continue to closely monitor the local network to ensure any issues such as leaks or bursts are quickly identified and fixed until water supplies are fully restored. 


Due to the size of the pipes and network, it may take up to 10 hours for normal supply to return to all customers in the following areas as water refills the network, especially for those on higher ground or at the end of the network: Swords, Santry, Malahide, Portmarnock, Kinsealy, Ballyboughal, Lissenhall, Donabate, Portrane, Turvey, Loughshinny, Palmerstown (Fingal), Rush, Lusk, nearby M1 service stations and surrounding areas. Please see attached map of impacted areas. 


Uisce Éireann appeals to all communities across North County Dublin to conserve water where possible

Today especially, Uisce Éireann is appealing to all customers in North County Dublin to help conserve water where possible to allow the network to fully recharge and enable the water supply to return to impacted customers as quickly as possible. Simple water conservation efforts can have a big impact such as not running taps needlessly, taking showers instead of baths and postponing the use of dishwashers and washing machines where possible. Further information on water conservation is available on our website at www.water/conserve. Vulnerable customers who have registered with Uisce Éireann receive direct communications for planned and unplanned outages lasting more than four hours. 


Alternative water supply locations

To support customers, alternative water supplies are available at the following locations until all supplies have returned to normal: Tesco Shopping Centre in Rush; Rathmore Park Car Park in Lusk; Seaview Park Car Park in Portrane; Donabate/Portrane Community Centre Car Park; St. Finian's Catholic Church in Swords South; St. Colmcille's GAA Club in Swords North; Catholic Church of the Sacred Heart in Malahide; and Portmarnock Sports and Leisure Club. Customers are reminded to use their own containers when taking water from the tanker and, as a precaution, boil the water before drinking.  


William McKnight, Uisce Éireann, commented: “We understand that this necessary outage may be disruptive to the local community and we are continuing to work hard to restore normal water supply as quickly as possible while monitoring the existing water main closely to ensure any issues are identified immediately and rectified.  


“We are appealing to communities in these areas to continue to conserve water where possible and to only use what they need to allow the network to fully recharge. This is especially important in areas of the network where water supplies have already returned, and in surrounding areas which were not impacted such as Skerries and Balbriggan, to allow water to return to all areas including the extremities of the network. There are lots of tips on how to conserve water on our Conservation section.”


William added: “This is a hugely important project for the people of North County Dublin and for the wider GDA in terms of delivering a sufficient and sustainable water supply to all. I would like to thank our specialist water crews in GMC Utilities Group Ltd and Fingal County Council who worked throughout the night to limit the impact on customers and successfully complete this major piece of work.” 


The project is being carried out by GMC Utilities Group Ltd on behalf of Uisce Éireann, in partnership with Fingal County Council. For more information, please visit our dedicated project webpage,

Following this type of work, occasionally issues such as cloudy water (air bubbles), discolouration or internal airlocks may arise. For advice on how to resolve these issues, please visit The Uisce Éireann customer care helpline is also open 24/7 on 1800 278 278 and customers can also contact us on Twitter @IWCare with any queries.  

Uisce Éireann is responsible for the delivery of all public water and wastewater services in Ireland. We are committed to continuously upgrading and developing critical infrastructure to support the growth needed in housing and across our economy, while protecting the environment and safeguarding water supplies.



For media queries, please contact Nuala Hansard at


Editors Notes 


Ballycoolin to Kingstown Trunk Water Main project 


The existing water supply network serving the North County Dublin Region depends on a single large-diameter, concrete water pipeline that was built in the 1960s, connecting Ballycoolin Reservoir to Swords. The concrete water pipeline transfers approximately 60 million litres of water daily to North County Dublin but is operating beyond its capacity, resulting in low pressure across the region during periods of peak demand. As this pipeline is a critical piece of the supply network, it cannot be taken out of service to be upgraded. To address this, Uisce Éireann is constructing a parallel, ductile iron pipeline that will have the capacity to distribute 90 million litres of drinking water per day at high pressure from Ballycoolin reservoir to homes and businesses across North County Dublin, including Dublin Airport. It will allow available drinking water to be diverted to areas during emergency repairs or improvement works on the existing concrete pipeline, avoiding supply disruptions for customers, and providing a more secure and reliable water supply for current and future generations. The new water pipeline will also provide increased capacity, enabling long term social and economic growth and development across the region.


Uisce Éireann is improving water supply resilience across Dublin and the GDA 


In addition to the Ballycoolin to Kingstown Trunk Water Main project, Uisce Éireann is also progressing a number of strategically important projects to further increase the security and resilience of the drinking water supply across Dublin the Greater Dublin Area (GDA).


  • In 2021, Uisce Éireann , working in partnership with Fingal County Council, completed essential upgrades to the Leixlip Water Treatment Plant (WTP,  resulting in a safer, more secure water supply for over 620,000 people across the Greater Dublin Area (GDA). The works included the upgrade of 15 filters and the installation of an ultra-violet disinfection system, modernising the existing facilities, reducing the risk of any future boil water notices and improving the quality, reliability and resilience of the water supply serving the GDA. Following on from these significant upgrades, a further programme of upgrade works will continue at the Leixlip Water Treatment Plant over the coming years to ensure the continued supply of safe drinking water to the Greater Dublin Area. 
  • In partnership with Fingal County Council, Uisce Éireann  has invested €22 million to improve the water supply for Malahide, Howth, Swords, Balbriggan and the surrounding areas. The upgrade works which were completed in 2021 will improve the security of the drinking water supply, safeguard the water supply to this area, reduce interruptions to the drinking water supply and improve water pressure for homes and businesses. 
  • Uisce Éireann is also progressing construction on the Old Connaught/Woodbrook Water Supply Scheme. The project consists of 12.5 million litres of strategic storage reservoirs and approximately 13kms of trunk mains which will provide network resilience and support capacity for future growth for supply areas of South East Dublin (Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council) and parts of North County Wicklow.
  • Uisce Éireann recently completed construction on a new, state-of-the-art water treatment plant in Vartry and a new, state-of-the-art covered reservoir in Stillorgan, marking the culmination of a total investment of €150 million in the upgrade of the Vartry Water Supply Scheme. 
  • Uisce Éireann is progressing the Saggart Reservoir project which involves the construction of a 100 million litre state-of-the-art reservoir. This project will increase the drinking water storage capacity and improve water resilience in the GDA.
  • Along with our Local Authority partners, Uisce Éireann continues to deliver the national Leakage Reduction Programme across the GDA to provide a more reliable water supply, reduce high levels of leakage, improve water quality and create operational efficiencies on the water network.


2) Health and Safety Authority

Title:Press Release: Cork company, GP Wood Ltd, fined €90,000 after death of employee from incident involving a loading vehicle

Author: Aoife Moroney-Ward

Email delivery rate: 98%

Time of release: 15:21 on the 24th of February 

Coverage examples: 

Cork company, GP Wood Ltd, fined €90,000 after death of employee from incident involving a loading vehicle 

Today at Cork Circuit Court, Judge Helen Boyle imposed a fine of €90,000 on GP Wood Ltd. for breaches of health and safety legislation.

GP Wood Ltd pleaded guilty to three counts of breaches of the Safety, Health & Welfare at Work legislation in relation to a fatal incident involving one of their employees. On the 26th February 2019 an employee of GP Wood Ltd. was fatally injured when he was struck and driven over by a loading shovel operating on in a storage yard on the premises.

GP Wood Ltd. pleaded guilty to S8(2)(a) of the Safety & Welfare at Work Act 2005 (regarding failure to manage and conduct work activities in such a way as to ensure the safety, health & welfare of employees), S8(2)(e) of the Safety & Welfare at Work Act 2005 (failure to provide a system of work that was planned, organised, performed, maintained and revised so as to be safe and without risk to health) and Regulation 41(b) of the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work (General Application) Regulations 2007 (failure to take operational measures to prevent employees on foot coming within the area of operation of self-propelled work equipment).

Commenting on the judgement Mark Cullen, Interim CEO at the Health and Safety Authority said “The movement of vehicles in workplaces where pedestrians are present is a well-known hazard that duty holders must carry out a risk assessment for in order to identify the necessary control measures to eliminate or reduce the risks to a reasonably practicable level. In this case, the failure by GP Wood Ltd to undertake a risk assessment and identify the appropriate control measures significantly increased the likelihood of an incident occurring, incidents which are entirely foreseeable and preventable.” 


For further information please contact Aoife Moroney Ward at the HSA Press office by emailing or calling 086 8036141

Our thoughts and prayers at MediaHQ are with those affected by this incident. 

3) Saint-Gobain Ltd 


Author: Richard Halderthay

Email delivery rate: 95%

Time of release: 07:35 on the 1st March 

Coverage examples: 

STARK Group completes major acquisition in the UK in great time

The separation of Saint-Gobain Building Distribution UK Ltd. has been completed following an accelerated process. STARK Group A/S enters the UK market ahead of plans.


STARK Group has completed the acquisition of more than 600 dedicated builders’ merchant, specialist, and distribution branches and a major timber importer and distributor. The separation from former owner Saint-Gobain UK Ltd. has been accelerated. Hence, the acquisition closes on the meteorological calendar’s official first day of spring.

When announcing the acquisition on 12 December 2022, the parties planned for a closing date later this year.


Group CEO Søren P. Olesen says:


”We are very pleased to have completed this acquisition in great time, having announced the deal in mid-December. We look very much forward to welcoming nearly 9,000 colleagues and many new tradespeople to our customer list in the UK. We have a strategy that successfully focuses on professional tradespeople and the renovation and maintenance market. The UK is an attractive market with solid population growth, one of Europe’s oldest housing stocks, and a huge potential for energy renovations.”


“We are facing a challenging transition year, but we have acquired a company that we can make thrive and grow. The more than 600 branches and distribution centres are in good locations across the entire UK. We will invest in the business, the customers, the employees, and the distribution. We have acquired a company with whom we can continue our growth journey. ”


The acquisition takes STARK Group’s total pro forma annual net sales to around EUR 9 billion. The combined company has more than 20,000 employees and approximately 1,150 dedicated builders’ merchants, specialists, and distribution centres. STARK Group is a leading retailer and distributor of heavy building materials across Europe and operates in the Nordics, Germany, Austria and now the UK.


STARK Group in the UK will be known as STARK Building Materials UK Ltd. The company comprises some of the UK’s leading brands in retail and distribution of building materials to professional craftsmen. These include the builders’ merchant Jewson, strong local brands such as Gibbs & Dandy and JP Corry in Northern Ireland, specialist brands Jewson Civils Frazer and Minster, as well as International Timber.


A spokesperson for Saint-Gobain said: 


“We’re pleased to have successfully and efficiently completed the divestment of Saint-Gobain Building Distribution and International Timber to STARK Group. We wish our former colleagues and STARK Group every success for the future. With this divestment Saint-Gobain no longer has any distribution businesses in the UK”.


About STARK Group

 STARK Group is a leading business-to-business distributor of heavy building materials for the construction industry in Europe, with a strategic focus on serving professional builders from its more than 1,150 branches. STARK Group has pro forma net sales of approx. EUR 9 billion, operates in the UK, Germany, Austria, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, and Norway and employs more than 20,000 people. STARK Group holds leading national or regional position in all markets. 


 STARK Group is committed to reach net zero emissions by 2050 across the entire business, is a signatory to the UN Global Compact, and works within fully validated science-based targets to keep global warming below 1.5°C


Media enquiries:


Laura Watson

07379 388110


Kaspar Bach Habersaat

Chief Communications Officer

+45 4092 8881

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