McNamara: it was either putting up a tweet or freezing in the house
The influence of social media came to the fore once again as trainer Robbie McNamara managed to have his electricity restored after being disconnected following an issue surrounding outstanding bills from previous tenants.
A tweet from the Galway festival-winning trainer, which garnered more than 400 engagements, read: "My bills have always been up to date and the ESB [electricity suppliers] cut me off without warning. I'm on my own in a wheelchair for three days without heating or electricity."
McNamara had been notified that a name change was required on the lease last week, despite living in the house in Kildare for a year, with the dual Cheltenham Festival-winning rider having the issue rectified by his landlord "immediately".
Informed he wouldn't be reconnected by his electric suppliers until Monday, the 29-year-old hit out at the ESB on Twitter, adding: "[I] hope you have a nice warm weekend while I sit in the cold and dark trying to preserve the battery on my phone and doing my utmost not to catch hypothermia on the coldest weekend of the year."
Following pressure from hundreds of social media users, McNamara was back in brightness and warmth before Friday evening was out, having voiced his problem on Twitter just before 5.45pm.
"I got sorted around 11.45pm last night by some unfortunate guy from Rhode, County Offaly – a neighbour of Pat Smullen's – who had been playing cards in the pub and came to sort it out," he explained on Saturday.
"It was a bit mad really. I'd been trying for ages with no luck but it came to 5pm and customer care wouldn't answer my calls. It was either putting up a tweet and catching their attention or freezing myself in the house for the weekend."
Reflecting on the response to his posting online, McNamara said: "If anyone was without electricity, facing a weekend in the cold, I think they'd have done the same – it takes only one person to pick up on a tweet and it goes viral. It was stupid what they did."
McNamara has three runners at Navan on Sunday, including longshot Cosmo's Moon in the Grade 3 Monksfield Novice Hurdle. "He's a very nice horse. I think he'll make a smashing novice chaser in a couple of years but we'll have fun with him over hurdles," he said.
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