Fighting the pipe - farmers opposed to Shannon to Dublin water project
Irish Water will face stiff resistance from farmers opposed to its plan to pump water from the Shannon to Dublin
Published 16/11/2016 | 06:00
If it was just about the money then perhaps farmers such as Liam Minehan could live with that - but they say it's about so much more. Proposals by Irish Water to build a 170km pipeline from Shannon to Dublin would see the pipe routed through his land and he fears for the long-term impact.
"I've four sons and three of them work in farming. After I'm gone they might want to farm this land - perhaps build a home here. But if this pipe is laid it could make that impossible forever," says Liam from his 50-hectare property outside Nenagh.
The dairy farmer adds: "Any compensation would only cover loss of earnings but what about the value of the land and the negative impact permanent structures could have on getting planning permission to build a home?"
There are approximately 500 landowners along the route which will see it pass through Tipperary, Offaly and Kildare before ending in Peamount, west Dublin.
Both construction and operational costs are expected to top €1.2bn. Roughly 85pc of the route runs through agricultural land.
There will be three kinds of valves on the proposed pipeline; air valves, line valves and scour or washout valves. Air valves would be placed every 500m to 600m, line valves will be buried 4km to 6km apart, and the washout valves allow sections of the pipeline to be emptied.
Irish Water says the pipeline is entirely necessary as the capital's population will rise from 1.5 million, as it is now, to around 2.1 million by 2050.
But not all landowners are convinced.