Irish Water finally to get Kilcummin its overdue sewer
After an agonising wait for a connection to the public sewerage mains that stymied development and contributed to the deterioration of roads, Kilcummin finally got solid word of a positive development this week.
Irish Water is now applying for planning permission for a pumping station and sewer to bring waste into the Killarney mains.
But it's not before time and a world of pain for locals.
It also spells an end in sight to grave concerns over the state of the Kilcummin to Killarney road, the bane of motorists' lives in a job shelved for technical reasons until sewer works get underway.
News was widely welcomed by local councillors this week, but such are some perceptions locally of their record on the issue that Mayor of Killarney Brendan Cronin felt honour-bound to offer a robust defence of elected members' efforts to secure the infrastructure.
News of Irish Water's intention to apply for planning was flagged in an ad in last week's Kerryman, with senior water engineer Colm Mangan telling councillors at a meeting in Killarney last Wednesday he expected the company to lodge the application in the coming weeks.
"It's dangerous to presume anything but the contract documents are being prepared now and the hope is it will go to tender by the end of the year," Mr Mangan said.
Mr Mangan added that the funding commitment is in place, saying: 'We've no reason to believe it's not going ahead'.
Cllr Cronin described it as 'very welcome, but long, long overdue news', launching into a stinging rebuke to recent comments criticising the apparent lack of effort by politicians over fixing the main road from the community.
He said he felt councillors had not been given a chance to defend their record: "All eight councillors were castigated for not doing anything...as far as I'm concerned I give 110 per cent to anything. ..I can understand the frustration of the people of Kilcummin with that section of road."
It's a section of road that would have to be excavated to get the sewer down and Cllr Cronin said the chamber would have been a 'laughing stock' if it had imprudently paid for a complete resurfacing only to tear the new road up again months later for the sewerage work.
The delay in delivering the pipeline was not of the councillors' making but due to a legal quagmire following the collapse of a combined Kilcummin, Milltown and Barraduff sewerage scheme, he added.
"We got the funding and the contract documents were in place...but it went pear-shaped...since 2008 there has been 46 council meetings with an average of five to seven motions per meeting on Kilcummin. Everyone of us saw fit to repeatedly fight for it.
"When your integrity and credibility is taken from you it hurts because you can't buy it."
It's expected the roadworks will get underway as the public mains is laid.