Regional Group Water Investment PMB Likely to Pass in the Dáil Today
NB please see the wording of the successful PMB here;
Multiple Sectors of Irish Society affected by Creaking Water Infrastructure – Tóibín
The Regional Group successfully tabled a significant motion on investment in Water today in the Dáil. The Government will not oppose the motion and as a result it will become the democratic will of the Dáil. Aontú leader Peadar Tóibín TD who is a member of the Regional Group stated;
“Water is the building block of life and the provision of adequate clean water is the building block of a functional society. Water and Waste Treatment services are vital for so much in Irish society. The political heat may have gone out of Water since the days of the FG and Labour Water tax it is still incredibly relevant for so many peoples lives. I was the Chair of Meath Right to Water back then and I want to echo calls that funding for water must happen from central taxation”.
“Ireland is in a housing crisis. Yet significant housing development in many parts of the country is being held up by the lack of water services. A significant portion of house building is not happening due to the lack of water services. This is particularly acute in rural and regional Ireland. Investment in industry is also heavily dependent of water infrastructure. Vast swathes of regional Ireland do not have the water infrastructure necessary to allow industry locate there. Even those estates that have been built have not been connected, Over 500 estates throughout the country are awaiting connection to the public water mains. “Ireland is developing into a city state. Its lopsided. Soon 50% of the population and well over 50% of the economic activity will be in the Greater Dublin Area, while much of the rest of Ireland will act as a commuter belt. Unless this government gets real in terms of infrastructure this will continue”.
“Raw sewage from 35 towns and villages is flowing into rivers, lakes and coastal waters every day because of the lack of treatment plants. This is killing the environment and is a danger to human health. Another 78 treatment plants are overloaded across the country and are regularly discharging untreated treated sewage. 40% of the water in Dublin leaks out of the pipes but instead of fixing these pipes the government has a crazy plan to bring water from the Shannon across the country all the way to Dublin. Mark my words this particular plan is the next Children’s Hospital runaway budget”.
“In my own county of Meath shockingly a Meat factory is seeking to discharge its waste water into the River Boyne. This is the source of water for more than 25,000 homes in East Meath and South Louth. It is also the centre of wonderful wild life and I have been campaigning for 13 years for it to be a Heritage Greenway. How can anyone even consider allowing this discharge. I want to thank Peter Whealan Aontú Slane rep for his work against this proposal”.
“In my own county of Meath, Navan was known as Alice Springs for years due to the regularity of pipes bursting and flooding homes. Myself and Aontú Trim Rep Jack Lynch have been in contact with Irish Water on several occasions in relation to major water outages across south Meath. Water disruption is continuing to cause havoc for residents in Trim and surrounding areas. In March, an incident occurred in Ballivor where the majority of the village was left without water for days.
In January Trim experienced a major drop in water pressure as the volume of water in the reservoir dropped to a very low level. When, we met with local representatives of Irish Water to find out how exactly this occurred they said that ‘due to the fact that many people are working from home with Covid-19 restrictions, there has been a 15% in demand for water locally’.
This is incredible, the system should have been able to cope with this increase as the river Boyne was about to burst its banks at the same time. The lack of investment in water is a government decision. It’s a decision with enormous ramifications for the whole of the country and many many families. Capital investment is critical and it needs to happen now”