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Huge Opposition To Water Pipe At ICSA Meeting

Thursday, 9 February 2017

Huge Opposition To Water Pipe At ICSA Meeting thumbnailPictured at ICSA’s meeting on the proposed Shannon-Dublin pipeline at Ballycommon, Nenagh.

THERE was very strong opposition to the proposed water pipe to Dublin at an Irish Cattle & Sheep Farmers' Association meeting in the Thatch, Ballycommon on Thursday night last. The meeting which was addressed by ICSA president Patrick Kent and general secretary Eddie Punch also heard contributions from Minister Marcella Corcoran-Kennedy and Jackie Cahill, TD as well as numerous local representatives and landowners.
 ICSA will host another important public meeting on 'The Preferred Scheme for a New Water Supply for the Eastern & Midland Region' on this Friday 10th February in Ballyeighan Hall, on the Roscrea Road, outside Birr at 8p.m. All those affected by the proposed water pipeline are invited to attend. The meeting will take the form of an open discussion; Pipe Dream or Nightmare?
Last week's ICSA meeting in Co Tipperary was notable for the strong opposition to the proposed water pipe to Dublin amongst attendees.
ICSA president Patrick Kent pledged that the association would stand with local landowners in their fight against being pushed into something they did not want. 'There are too many unanswered questions and farmers have many concerns about long-term devaluation of their farms and damage to productivity.'
 ICSA general secretary Eddie Punch said that 'it was very telling that over €1 billion could be found to bring water to Dublin but the entire rural renewal strategy has been allocated just €60 million. This project is all about putting everything into Dublin while allowing the economy of the rest of the country to stagnate. It makes no sense to being talking about this when we heard Minister Coveney on radio talking about the need for more balanced regional development.'  
 ICSA Tipperary chairman Tom Egan said that the scheme was badly thought out and that there was no need to impose such stress and disruption on farmers because there are many alternatives in Dublin.'  
 ICSA is committed to working with local landowners and any farmers worried about the pipeline should contact ICSA Tipperary chairman Tom Egan or the ICSA offices in Portlaoise.
Ahead of Friday night's meeting Mr Egan said 'There is a lack of clarity on a whole range of issues concerning the proposed pipeline and local landowners still have many reservations about the project. All local TDs have been invited to attend on the night so landowners will have an opportunity to raise their concerns and to seek answers to the questions they may have. I look forward to an informative evening and a lively debate on the issue.'
 Affected farmers and members of the general public have until have until Tuesday 14th February 2017 to lodge their concerns with Irish water.
Minister for Health Promotion, Marcella Corcoran Kennedy TD is encouraging all landowners along the proposed route for the new water supply project for the Eastern and Midlands region to have their say on the project. Minister Corcoran Kennedy attended last week's meeting along with Cllr Ger Darcy at the Thatched Cottage in Ballycommon.
'The ICSA held a very constructive meeting last Thursday night, where they confirmed that they have met with representative of Irish Water and that they will continue to engage in discussions to ensure that the concerns of its members are heard. It is hugely important that all landowners engage in the consultation process and take the opportunity to make submissions to Irish Water. It is clear that farmers along the proposed preferred route are very concerned about the potential impact of this project on their farming enterprises.
'Irish Water has several Landowner Liasion Officers who are available to meet with landowners who require information and to discuss any issues that they may have. The Landowner Liasion Officers can be contacted at (021) 4239000 or watersupply@water.ie .

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