LEAKS are putting the people of Doonbeg at “breaking point,” a West Clare councillor has claimed.
Cross native, Cllr Gabriel Keating (FG) said the people of Doonbeg were becoming agitated with the ongoing disruptions to water services in the West Clare village.
In a proposal before Monday’s meeting of Clare County Council, he requested Uisce Éireann “as a matter of urgency” to “address the constant issue of water leaks on the N67 where the old pipeline needs to be replaced in the interest of householders, farmers, business and industry who are being left without a water supply on a regular basis including three recent leakages which are of a recurring nature”.
Senior engineer with the Council, Cyril Feeney explained that “considerable work” was completed with the replacement of the watermains through Doonbeg village (N67) and another section of the watermain on the N67 at Bealaha was replaced in 2019. He said they would continue to liaise with Uisce Éireann “to resolve the outstanding sections of watermains in particular south of Doonbeg which are still in need of remediation”.
Cllr Keating commented, “the people of Doonbeg are at breaking point because there are so many leaks”.
Last year alone there was 38 leaks in Doonbeg with three in the one week a fortnight ago, “it is causing problems for businesses, people and farmers. We have restaurants and B&Bs who are inconvenienced with the leaks, a lot of them are happening on weekends”.
He continued, “time is of the essence and funding is required, the road needs to be dropped so that it can take a fresh pipeline, it would cost quite a bit of money”.
Irish Water’s change of name to Uisce Éireann was welcomed by Cllr Keating, “maybe they will change their way of working now, both can fund the project and it will be done for all time, we owe it to the people. Imagine a farmer without water in summer time, let it be the last time that I as a councillor have to raise this”.
Over the summer months, Cllr Cillian Murphy (FF) said he received calls from people in Loop Head, Carrigaholt and Cross all because of the water going from a break outside the road in Doonbeg. “The pressure is gone from the rest of the feeder system, it is mind boggling the amount of patching gone on there which is equivalent to several roads being done”.
According to Cllr Murphy, “serious political pressure” is needed from Clare’s Oireachtas members and the Executive of Clare County Council “to get a focus on this piece of pipe”. He acknowledged, “there are costings around the road but surely it is not beyond a State entity to take the pipe away from the road which is reducing that cost if even on a temporary basis until funds are found”.
Praise was extended to Cllr Keating for “getting a West Clare issue on the clár” by Cllr Joe Killeen (FF). “The complaints are perennial, a lot of the problems go back to day one and asbestos piping,” Cllr PJ Kelly (FF) maintained.