Proposed Shannon water pipeline 'would finish my farm'

Tipperary farmer Liam Minehan says the proposed Shannon pipeline will permanently disrupt and damage his holding. Photo: Liam Burke/Press 22
Tipperary farmer Liam Minehan says the proposed Shannon pipeline will permanently disrupt and damage his holding. Photo: Liam Burke/Press 22

Claire Fox

One farmer whose land the proposed Shannon Water Extraction Scheme would go through, says it would “destroy” his farm.

Dairy farmer Liam Minehan set up the Fight the Pipe Campaign in response to the Shannon Water Extraction Scheme proposal which aims to pump water from the River Shannon using a 170km pipe to supply water to Dublin.

He told that if the pipeline gets the green light it would “destroy” the viability of his farm in Pucan, Co Tipperary.

“I’d grin and bear it if I thought it was necessary but it isn’t. It would stop me from being able to milk my cows while it’s being built. It would finish the farm and destroy my legacy,” he said.

“I’m in a basin here so I feel the whole lake would be on top of me. No farmer around here wants the pipe.”

He also added that members of political parties have voiced their support to his campaign.

IFA North Tipperary Chair, Imelda Walsh said that she spoke at a family farm event in the area at the weekend where concerns surrounding the disruption the possible construction of a pipe could cause were discussed.

“The scale of the project and its impact on the land is a worry for farmers. Permanent structures would remain after the build and farmers are worried they could affect the sale of the land or family members applying for planning permission in the future,” she said.

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“Farmers are not satisfied that all avenues have been exhausted when it comes to dealing with leaks in Dublin. With the amount of farmers affected, it begs to question should that not be sorted first of all?”

IFA’s Environment chair Thomas Cooney also added that farmers have raised concerns that the installation of pipes could cause flooding and affect the natural drainage system of the land.

“There’s  still big  concerns amongst farmers and landowners about the disruption installing these pipes could cause to their day-to-day farming. There are also worries that it could affect the natural drainage that is already there and lead to flooding.

Farmers are asking questions about leaks and different things like that, so all of it will have to be addressed,” he said.

Emma Kennedy of Kennedy Analysis, who are in opposition to the opposed Shannon Extraction Scheme said that the “only way to stop Dublin having outages is to replace its pipes” rather than building a pipe from the Shannon to the capital.

“You can spend €1.3billion on the Shannon pipeline and after a few more outages Dubliners will quite rightly say ‘enough is enough, replace these pipes’, at which point they will be replaced. Why ask the taxpayer to pay twice?  The costs of the Shannon pipeline keep growing – on Irish Water’s latest figures it is now set to cost over €1,000 for every family in Ireland,” she said.

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