Farm Ireland

Saturday 16 December 2017

'Dublin should get its own house in order...not destroy farms to get water from the Shannon'

Image: Irish Water
Image: Irish Water
Ciaran Moran

Ciaran Moran

There will be a battle in Tipperary, Offaly and other places to take water from the Shannon to Dublin, according to Tipperary TD Mattie McGrath.

Speaking in the Dail this week, Deputy McGrath slammed the proposal saying “Dublin…. should get its house in order and fix the 40pc or 50pc of water that is wasted underground through leaks”.

“Why would a decision be made to plough up the middle of the country and destroy perfectly good farms near houses through the use of blunt instruments such as compulsory purchase orders in order to lay pipes?

“We need a lot of soul searching and respect for landowners and householders in Tipperary, Offaly and other counties through which a pipeline will be laid.

“We need the issue to be dealt with sensitively and not to have the bullying approach of Irish Water. We had such an approach from the former Ministers Phil Hogan and Deputy Alan Kelly."

Around 500 landowners are understood to be affected and it is understood that around 80pc are expected to agree terms and conditions with Irish Water, based on the experience of Gas Networks Ireland.

Between 10pc and 20pc of land values will be paid over the next year to secure options in advance of formal planning application.

It is understood that Compulsory Purchase Orders will not be necessary in the majority of cases, but may be necessary for some 20pc of landowners unwilling to allow their land be used.

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Farmers whose land is affected over the 170km of pipeline will initially be required to provide 50m of a working width which will be reduced to a permanent 20m wayleave when construction is finished.


Meanwhile, Independent TD Joan Collins also voiced opposition in the Dail this week saying “it could cost millions or billions to bring a pipeline from Shannon to Dublin to serve the greater Dublin region.”

“If the money were spent on fixing the 35pc of pipes in the ground that are carrying treated water, it would go along way towards sending water to taps rather than into the ground.

“If we retrofitted all our homes and businesses to ensure treated water would not be going down our toilet bowls and that rainwater and water from other types of systems would be used, we would save millions of litres of treated water.

“Rather than taking a resource from the people along the Shannon, the prospect of which inspires fear among them, we should fix the leaks where they happen and retrofit all our homes,” she said.

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