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Red Tape Affecting People In West Sligo In Water Outrage

It has come to my attention in the past couple of days that EU and Government red tape on SAC’s and the Habitats Directive is preventing Irish Water from carrying out essential remedial works on the water supply that is currently being extracted from Lough Talt and that has implications for the health of 10,000 people. It is a shocking and very worrying turn of events that must be dealt with immediately.

Sligo County Council has been extracting water from Lough Talt to serve over 10,000 people in West Sligo for the past 40 years. The lake is now a SAC because of a certain species of snail that resides on the foreshore. The water supply is recieving minimal treatment at the moment and the supply in general is in danger of failing altogether which has serious implications for the health of those served by the scheme. Irish Water applied to Sligo County Council for a new treatment plant for this scheme but their application was turned down and it was also rejected by An Bord Pleanala. The upshot of all this means that Irish Water can only continue to supply poorly treated water, the safety of which they cannot guarantee..

A completely new water supply would take at least six to seven years to come into use so I ask the question what happens in the meantime? Are we now at a situation in 2017 where red tape and bureaucracy are more important that the health of the people in West Sligo? It is an outrage and I am surprised that there is not a public outcry over this. Irish Water recieve much critisism, but here they are trying to ensure a proper safe water supply for the people of West Sligo under instruction from the EPA and they find that Sligo County Council and An Bord Pleanala will not allow them to go ahead. Irish Water risk being fined for not being able to provive a proper safe supply to the people in this area which is what they are trying to do here. If it was not such a serious issue it would be a national joke.

Is it any wonder that the people of the UK voted to leave the EU when you see this kind of red tape and bureaucracy which is is having a direct affect on the health and well being of ordinary people. Let’s call a spade a spade a spade here, this water supplywhich contains dangerous THM’s that may cause cancer could cost lives in the long term the way things stand. I am calling for the Ministers at the Department of the Enviornment and at the Department of Arts, Heritage and The Gaeltacht and our MEP’s to intervene in this situation immediately. If a species of snail is more important than the health of our people then we have completely lost the run of ourselves in this country. The public interest and the well being of our people must always come first but the habitats directive is having the oppositie effect.