Speaking in the Dáil last week I raised the issue of funding for Irish Water to provide the necessary infrastructure required to stimulate the economy post COVID-19
‘Irish Water are a key driver of this infrastructure. Irish Water need to be financed to ensure that vital services such as water and sewerage are available to stimulate growth in houses being built, in providing serviced sites for commercial activity and ensure that the IDA have serviced sites in order to attract new foreign direct investment’
‘If the Government aspirations for a balance regional are to be realised, they will need to immediately set the agenda for Irish Water and supply the necessary funding’
‘In particular, I see first-hand how a county like Galway is being held back by the lack of investment. I see the growth centres around Galway City at a standstill’
Galway County Council cannot give planning permission for developments because there are no municipal Wastewater Treatment facilities available.
Towns such as, Craughwell, Corofin, Abbeyknockmoy, Clarinbridge, Kilcolgan, Ballindereen, Ardrahan, Labane, Turloughmore, Kilconnell, Cappataggle and Mountbellew are precluded from building any housing development due to the decision by ABP that any development is premature until a Public Treatment Plan is built and ABP have now also ruled out housing with individual septic tanks and have ruled out private Wastewater Treatment plants.
Another prime example is the IDA site in Athenry at the crossroads of the railway and roads infrastructure which has no water or sewerage connection.
‘Furthermore, there are housing schemes built in the past and now raw sewerage is flowing over ground untreated. This is an environmental time bomb about to go off’
Galway County Council have a County Development Plan setting out the way Galway City and County will develop and expand, put this plan is stalled as the East Galway Wastewater Treatment is not on Irish Waters agenda due to lack of funding.
‘Many of the towns I mentioned have had their Wastewater Treatment plants on a works programme prior to the arrival of Irish Water. These same projects are on no agenda because Irish Water do not have the necessary finance’
‘I have read the programme for Government and am struck with words pertaining to development of housing for our young people, the ambition for a Balanced Regional Development etc. Now is the time to act. The Government need to provide the necessary funding to allow our towns and villages to develop’.
‘I am calling on the Government to front load this investment now rather than maintaining the status quo’.