The delay in starting work on the Burncourt / Fethard Regional Supply water scheme is looking more and more like a calculated insult to the residents of the region, according to Independent TD Mattie McGrath.
Deputy McGrath was speaking after he again sought an explanation from the Minister for the Environment over why the delay had become so protracted.
“On December 3, Fine Gael Minister Tom Hayes welcomed the announcement by Minister Phil Hogan that €12.4m has been approved for the Burncourt / Fethard Regional Supply scheme. Nearly five months later, however, the residents have yet to see anything resembling work on the project occurring. This is simply appalling and serious questions need to be asked at this stage if the money was actually allocated or merely promised,” he said.
Deputy McGrath said the funding was supposed to allow South Tipperary County Council to award the contract to provide water treatment plants and ancillary works at Cloran, Fethard and Glengarra, Burncourt, which, he said were critical elements of the Burncourt and Fethard Regional Water Supply scheme but nothing had happened.
“I understand that the contract has been awarded to Galway company Glan Agua Limited, but local people who have been waiting over 15 years for funding for this scheme have not seen sight nor sound of them. What is equally galling in all of this farce is that on the same day as Minister Hayes announced the approval of the funding, he also said he had asked Minister Hogan to exempt all of those currently on a boil water notice from water charges, an exemption we now know that the Minister had no intention of granting,” said Deputy McGrath
The Independent TD said that was “particularly sickening for residents of Skeheenarinky, as 40 households in that area have been issued with a four-year boil water notice as a result of cryptosporidium in their water supply”.
He said answers about this matter were needed, “and, more importantly, we need a clear timetable for the works to be announced and no more of this Fine Gael blarney about funding being granted while the people of the Burncourt / Fethard region go on waiting and waiting”.