INCLUSION of Broadford and Cooraclare in the €50 million rural wastewater collection and treatment scheme could be “a game-changer” for other communities in the county according to the Mayor of Clare.

Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage Darragh O’Brien (FF) made the long-awaited announcement with details on the successful applicants on Thursday morning.

Inclusion in the pilot ends an over-four decade wait for both Broadford and Cooraclare to have a sewerage scheme.

Last September, Broadford and Cooraclare were submitted by Clare County Council in an official application for inclusion. The scheme was first announced by Minister O’Brien in April 2022 with many false-dawns on potential positive news for both Clare villages speculated by Government representatives in the interval.

Alongside Broadford and Cooraclare, Galway villages Clarinbridge and Craughwell, Ramsgrange (Wexford), Beaufort (Kerry) and Ballygawley (Sligo) will all proceed to
funding stage subject to engagement and agreement with the relevant with Local Authority.

Speaking at Monday’s meeting of Clare County Council, Mayor of Clare, Cllr Joe Cooney (FG) hailed the “tremendous effort” of local authority staff including Pat Dowling, Carmel Kirby, Cyril Feeney and John Gannon for their work on the initial application and the subsequent process plus the community groups in Broadford and Cooraclare. “What has been achieved here in our county getting these two projects on the scheme could be a game-changer for other rural communities in our county”.

Council Chief Executive, Pat Dowling stated, “We had to wait a little while for the outcome, it is a small start but a very significant one on the challenges we have with unsewered villages of which we have identified fifty”. He added, “We know that wastewater systems for these small towns and villages will not take place in the short to medium term under the current governance structures. We’re awaiting more detail on the scheme members. We’ll be reverting to others towns and villages that we know and work to prioritise them”.

Leas Cathaoirleach of the Council, Cllr Gabriel Keating (FG) acknowledged the success for both Broadford and Cooraclare and was keen to see similar results achieved for Carrigaholt. His colleague seated beside him, Cllr Joe Garrihy (FG) was voicing a similar rhetoric but for the Doolin cause.

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If you’re here, you care about County Clare. So do we. Did you rely on us for Covid-19 updates, follow our election coverage, or visit The Clare Echo every week for breaking news and sport? The Clare Echo invests in local journalism and we want to safeguard its future in our county. By becoming a subscriber you are supporting what we do, will receive access to all our premium articles and a better experience, while helping us improve our offering to you. Subscribe to clareecho.ie and get the first six months for just €3 a month (less than 75c per week), and thereafter €8 per month. Cancel anytime, limited time offer. T&Cs Apply. www.clareecho.ie.

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