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Councillor Shane Talty: not hopeful of a response or action from Irish Water.

‘You’d be as well off sending a request to Dustin the Turkey’

A COUNTY councillor has said you’d be as well off sending a proposal to Dustin The Turkey as Irish Water for all the response you would get.

The quip by Councillor Shane Talty came in the context of his proposal of a feasibility study into the prospect of linking a wastewater system for Doolin to the existing one in Lisdoonvarna.

Councillor Talty made the suggestion about the potential project at the West Clare Municipal District meeting on May 3.

This study was promised to Doolin Tourism when the Lisdoonvarna scheme was installed over 20 years ago, he noted, and Councillor Talty put forward the motion “in the absence of action taken by Irish Water.”

The proposal comes after an announcement by the government last week that there will be a series of schemes to address towns and villages with wastewater management issues, though Councillor Talty claimed the narrative in Clare involves the funding from such schemes going to Broadford.

Councillor Talty stated, “We are not very clear on how any other town or village is going to be put forward if they don’t have plans or feasibility studies done.

“One suggestion previously involved linking Doolin to Lisdoonvarna, where there is excessive capacity, but that option was never fully analysed.

“Clare County Council are not the water services authority, but I don’t believe we should forward this request to Irish Water for their consideration. You would be as well off sending it to Dustin the Turkey.”

Councillor Joe Garrihy welcomed the announcement by government to dedicate €20 million to wastewater treatment schemes, and emphasised how important Doolin is at the centre of Clare’s tourism industry.

He claimed that its sustainability as a location is being held back by its lack of wastewater facilities, which in turn will hold back the local economy.

Councillor Garrihy has gathered information on the possibility of linking the two plants before, and each time has been given advice that the distance is too great for such a project to be feasible.

However, he supported the fact that this matter should continue to be pushed on the council’s agenda.

Following these statements, Councillor Gabriel Keating added that such situations have been an issue for longer than the 20 years cited by Councillor Talty.

He claimed that Carrigaholt has been waiting on similar action from the government since 1957, and hoped that some change might come about soon.

Councillor Ian Lynch commented, “I appreciate that Councillor Talty is trying to be creative while not getting any assistance from Irish Water. He wants to come up with a solution, and while Irish Water may come back with figures about it costing X amount, it’s not good enough just to do that. More effort than a simple reply like that would be appreciated.”

Leonard Cleary, Director of Service, acknowledged the frustration of the councillors and assured that the issue has been discussed with the management team.

He encouraged a submission for this feasibility study to Irish Water regardless of Councillor Talty’s misgivings.

Councillor Talty was supported by Cathaoirleach Cillian Murphy in continuing to press for the council to do what it can on the ground in the meantime, so that the areas talked about constantly in this capacity have some sort of hope for the future at getting the proper wastewater facilities.

About Conor Clohessy

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