They do say that everything comes to those who wait. Castleisland based, FG Councillor Bobby O’Connell was summoned to Dublin today to meet with his party colleague and Minister for the Environment, Phil Hogan, TD.
Minister Hogan had the best possible news for Cllr. O’Connell: He gave the green light for the extension to the Castleisland Sewage Scheme to cover the areas of the town not already connected to the 22 year-old system which cost £3.5M at the time.
The system was hardly beyond its first flush of use when fears began to be expressed about the lack of connectivity to several heavily populated areas of the town.
It is hard to imagine that it has taken since 1992 to get the Black Road, College Road and Tullig – among others – connected to the town’s waste water treatment plant.
The hard lobbied for and long awaited plant was opened for use in April 1992 after an extensive programme of work through digging and piping the roads and streets of the town in preparation. The official opening was performed on Friday May 8 by Fianna Fáil Environment Minister Michael Smith, TD.
Those with an eye for history might recall that, eventful and all as the day was, it was completely overshadowed as the s**t had just hit the fan the previous day on the unfolding Bishop Casey story.
Several funding requests for improvements and extension works have been rejected by the Department of the Environment over the years. Now, Cllr. Bobby O’Connell was the one chosen to receive the news, pass it on and take the bows. The news will be particularly welcome to those in the areas in question as septic tank inspections and associated fees begin to sink in.
Work is expected to begin almost straight away on the scheme which carries a €900,000 tag.
“This is the biggest and best bit of news I’ve had for Castleisland for a long time,” said Cllr. O’Connell.
“There are people in those areas with sites they can’t develop because of the threat of pollution from septic tanks – not to mention the charges following the tanks. Now all that worry is lifted off their shoulders and they can plan ahead,” said a clearly delighted Cllr. O’Connell.