Supporting Local News

Wastewater issues are ‘stifling development’

The inadequacy of waste waster treatment facilities in Clarinbridge and Craughwell is stifling development and threatening the environment.

That’s according to local Councillor Martina Kinane who said she raised the matter with the Minister for Local Government in a recent meeting.

The Clarinbridge-based councillor said she had been calling for funding to solve the issue for a number of years but was keen to press the urgency of the matter as applications for a rural wastewater scheme in both villages were currently under consideration by the Department.

“The Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Darragh O’Brien, last year announced the commencement of a new funding scheme targeting the waste water collection and treatment needs of villages and settlements,” she said of the €50 million scheme.

Both Craughwell and Clarinbridge had been submitted by the County Council as areas eligible under the scheme’s housing and environmental criteria, and it’s understood that ten applications will be selected for funding in September.

Cllr Kinane said Clarinbridge’s precious oyster beds were being put at risk due to the inadequacy of the current waste water arrangements, while Craughwell residents were living in estates with no access to a mains wastewater network.

“I had a meeting with the Minister Darragh O’Brien to personally reiterate the urgent need for wastewater infrastructure for both villages. I stated to the Minister that the nonexistence of a wastewater treatment plant in Craughwell is no longer tenable and causing huge distress to people living in local estates.

“I also outlined in detail my concern for the future of the oyster beds in Clarinbridge and the economic future of the village,” she said, adding that the community in Craughwell has expressed a desire to see a retirement village and the absence of a waste water treatment plant could block that.

Cllr Kinane said people had a right to live and work in rural areas but those such as Craughwell and Clarinbridge could not develop or provide housing if the issue of waste water was not addressed.

“Both areas deserve a top-class system. We need development with proper planning, and even if we are to look at tourism which is as major economic driver for Galway, it is being held up.

“Clarinbridge has no hotel facilities and can’t have them without this system. We’re left very restricted,” she said.

The Minister engaged with the problem, continued Cllr Kinane, and listened to her concerns.

“My message was that these two areas need to be selected – it is a must.

“I was heartened by the Minister’s interest and I left the meeting hopeful that both villages will receive funding later this year,” she said.

Pictured are Minister Darragh O’Brien at a meeting with Cllr Martina Kinnane.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune:

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