23 May 2022

‘We are not prepared to be the poor relation in North Kilkenny’

Water problems: Councillors call for proper infrastructure for county’s communities


Cllrs John Brennan and Pat Fitzpatrick have called on Irish Water to come before the members of the Castlecomer Municipal District Council to explain their delivery of water infrastructure

Two local councillors have slammed Irish Water for how they have handled the delivery of water infrastructure in North Kilkenny.

Cllr Pat Fitzpatrick and Cllr John Brennan are now calling on Irish Water to come before the members of the Castlecomer Municipal District Council to explain themselves.

“In Castlecomer, we have asbestos pipes leaking like sieves,” said Cllr Pat Fitzpatrick.

“We have local people with planning permission to build homes that they can’t build because they don’t have proper water infrastructure.

“The issue is so widespread now that local people who want to build simply aren’t putting in planning permission requests because they know what the result will be.”

Cllr John Brennan stated a comprehensive plan must be drafted by Irish Water for the North Kilkenny region.
Both councillors stated that they have attended clinics with Irish Water in the past but have found them unsatisfactory.

“There has been lots of talk recently but delivery has been very poor,” he said.
“Irish Water are content to be reactive rather than proactive and that is putting local lives on hold.”

Cllr Pat Fitzpatrick added that across North Kilkenny, communities are depending on the skills of local people to maintain water infrastructure.

“We have seen towns and villages such as Castlecomer fight back so valiantly in recent times against rural decline,” he said.

“Fighting decline has been a key goal for many areas of North Kilkenny in recent years. The hesitancy of Irish Water to commit to long-term planning or investment in the region is hindering this fight, and it’s a fight our communities cannot afford to lose.”

Cllr John Brennan added that new infrastructure, rather than remedial work, is the only way forward.

“Irish Water recently did work cleaning pipes in the Clogh/Moneenroe area,” he said.

“The issue was that the water had a high manganese content and that was clogging pipes. So they cleared the pipes but I can’t help but feel that the true problem was missed.

“The issue was with the water. Now those pipes will inevitably have to be cleaned again in the future. What we needed was a better water supply in that area.”

Both councillors acknowledge that Irish Water have completed some much-needed work in the region in recent times, including infrastructure allowing houses to be built in Donaguile, and wanted to make that clear. “But it’s just not going far enough,” added Cllr Fitzpatrick.

“Even when it comes to the extra pump we got, it’s able to handle the new houses there but the nearby school is looking to extend that will also need water processing infrastructure.

No long-term plan
“Everything’s connected and there’s no long-term plan. We urgently need a long-term plan to be drawn up for the region.

Cllr Fitzpatrick and Brennan stated that local representatives and councillors would be able to provide Irish Water with all the information that they need to draft future plans that can be as cost-effective and future-proof as possible.

“We would happily consult alongside them. The ball is in their court now.”

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