Beaufort, Currow and Scartaglin Sewage Problems Aired in Dáil by Danny

Danny Healy Rae, TD raised the lack of sewage servises in Beaufort, Currow and Scartaglin in Dáil Éireann recently. ©Photographs: John Reidy

In a speech in Dáil Éireann recently, Deputy Danny Healy Rae requested that Scartaglin, Currow and Beaufort be prioritised for sewerage treatment plants.

The reply he got from Minister Eoghan Murphy left him well short of pleased.
“I am very disappointed with this reply as it demonstrates how little this Government cares about rural communities. They have no interest in the world in them,” said Deputy Healy Rae.

The following are the questions from Deputy Healy Rae and the response from Minister Eoghan Murphy.

Order Of Business: – No Sewerage in Scartaglin, Currow and Beaufort

Deputy Danny Healy-Rae: The Government seeks to protect the environment throughout the country.

Yet, there are three lovely villages in Kerry that do not have sewerage treatment plants, namely: Scartaglin, Currow and Beaufort.

With Irish Water and the set-up in place, there is no way forward for these communities to access or get sewerage treatment plants. What are they going to do about it?

Reply by Minister for Housing, Planning and local Government, Eoghan Murphy to Deputy Danny Healy Rae re Questions on Promised Legislation:

Dear Danny,

I am writing in response to the status of sewerage treatment plants in the villages of Scartaglin, Currow and Beaufort which you raised in the Dail during questions on Promised Legislation.

Since 1 January 2014, Irish Water has statutory responsibility for all aspects of water services planning, delivery and operation at national, regional and local level.

Safe Drinking Water

Irish Water’s primary function is to provide clean safe drinking water to customers and to treat and return wastewater safely to the environment.

Irish Water as a single national utility is taking a strategic, nationwide approach to asset planning and investment, and meeting customer requirements.

The first ever Water Services Policy Statement, prepared in line with the Water Services Acts, which was launched on 21 May 2018, outlines a clear direction to strategic planning and decision making on water and wastewater services in Ireland.

Key Policy Objectives

It identifies key policy objectives and priorities for the delivery of water and wastewater services in Ireland over the period to 2025.

The Water Services Policy Statement sets out a series of high-level policy objectives across the three thematic areas of Quality, Conservation, and Future Proofing, which must be pursued when planning capital investment and framing current spending plans. lt will provide the context within which necessary funding and investment plans by Irish Water will be framed and agreed.

Plan for 2020-2024

Irish Water’s next Investment Plan for the five year period from 2020 to 2024 will set out the financial plan for capital investments to support Its strategic objectives, as set out in the Water Services Strategic Plan and the forthcoming Strategic Funding Plan, to deliver improvements to water services throughout Ireland where they are needed most. Irish Water’s Water Services Strategic Plan (WSSP) published in October 2015 already sets out a h tgh level strategy over 25 years to ensure the provision of clean safe drinking water, effective management of wastewater, environmental protection and support for economic and social development.

No Plans or Funding

Irish Water have informed me that they currently have no plans or funding allocated for these villages or indeed this type of project in the 2017 to 2021 Capital Investment Programme.

Their present focus is on addressing deficiencies in existing public water and wastewater systems to ensure compliance with legislative standards and catering for growth, objectives which have received approved funding from the Commission for Regulation of Utilities (CRU).

However both Irish Water and I fully appreciate the need to support the development of rural communities and to this end I refer you to Objectives 18a and 18b in the Project Ireland 2040 National Planning Framework which specifically addresses this need.

Happy to Engage

The proposed pilot ‘serviced site schemes’ have not yet been published but should any rural location in County Kerry be chosen as one of the pilot projects Irish Water have confirmed to me that they would be happy to engage with Kerry County Council on how such a project could be advanced.

Yours Sincerely, Eoghan Murphy, Minister for Housing, Planning and local Government.

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