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Cold water has been poured on the possibility of a mains extension for the use of up to 50 farmers in South-East Clare.

Both Clare County Council and Irish Water were asked by Cllr Pat O’Gorman (FF) to consider putting a mains water pipe in place at Rossmanagher in Sixmilebridge for the use of forty to fifty farmers in the locality.

His motion before the Shannon Municipal District explained that “the regulations are changing by the Department of Agriculture and cattle will no longer be allowed to drink out of a trench”.

Senior engineer in the Council’s water services and environment section, Cyril Feeney said the matter would be brought to Irish Water’s attention. “In the absence of any domestic connections unfortunately there are no Group Water Scheme grants available for such a mains extension,” he cautioned.

Farmers in Sixmilebridge and Newmarket-on-Fergus raised the matter with Cllr O’Gorman. “There are roughly forty to fifty farmers working out of the area”. In winter, the area “is completely flooded,” he outlined.

Dividing of the land was carried out by the Land Commission, he recalled, “it hints that there is not local people who have the land, they are from Newmarket-on-Fergus and Gallows Hill in Cratloe so drawing water is a major issue, if it was your own house the problem would not be there”.

Changing of the rules by the Department will make it “very difficult to farm,” the Cratloe representative stated as he voiced his disappointment with the Council’s response.

“As regards a group water scheme, it is coming right to the end of the road, it wouldn’t be a massive job to install water in that stretch,” Cllr John Crowe (FG) believed. He said that no houses were built on the section of road and that the farmers would have to fund the work. “It is something that is needed. Since the road was upgraded, it has become very popular for walkers”.

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