*Minister Darragh O’Brien flanked by Cathal Crowe TD and Senator Timmy Dooley. Photograph: Joe Buckley
A CLARE TD has said he will stop sharing dates on plans for Broadford and Cooraclare to be included in a national pilot €50m wastewater infrastructure scheme, following a series of false dawns.
As far back as February of this year, Clare TD Joe Carey (FG) expressed confidence that an announcement would be made on the inclusion of both areas in the €50m scheme for essential sewage infrastructure for rural villages which was first announced by Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Darragh O’Brien (FF) in April 2022.
Minister O’Brien visited Broadford in August 2021 with the local community group led by PJ Mason left with an optimistic impression that their four decade wait for a sewerage scheme would be coming to an end.
Earlier this month, Cathal Crowe TD (FF) said an announcement would be made by November 13th. Two weeks have passed and there is still no sign of the Department giving details on successful applicants, a detailed submission was made by Clare County Council last September putting forward the case for Broadford and Cooraclare.
Adding further political interest to the debacle is the declaration by Senator Timmy Dooley (FF) that he will not contest the next General Election if Broadford and Cooraclare do not get the green light.
Senator Dooley who lost his seat as a TD in the 2020 General Election will have to prevail at a selection convention to be added as a candidate for Fianna Fáil prior to the next General Election, regardless of the outcome on the wastewater scheme.
Speaking to The Clare Echo, Deputy Crowe said that he met with Minister O’Brien on Tuesday and was in contact with officials in his Department earlier in the week. “The matter is to now go before Cabinet in a memo and I’d be confident it will get the full rubber stamping of all Cabinet colleagues including those in Fine Gael and the Green Party. I am confident of good news for Broadford and Cooraclare, all Government representatives in the county are aware of this good news for several weeks now”.
He continued, “I am frustrated that the announcement has been delayed, it reminds me of the saga we had to fund the transfer of the Shannon Heritage sites to Clare County Council. Throughout this I have communicated every scintilla of information I’ve been given to the community groups, I’ve been factual on the matter. Politicians and Governments of the past have let down both communities and made false promises that weren’t delivered. I have heard of indicative dates but I don’t plan on sharing them because other dates haven’t materialised”.