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*Cllr Michael Begley. Photograph: Eamon Ward

Whether or not the Clonlara sewage scheme will ultimately be decided by Irish Water, a senior official in Clare County Council has outlined.

Advancing the completion of the Clonlara sewage scheme must be done via “whatever steps are necessary”, Cllr Michael Begley (IND) outlined in fighting the cause for the South-East Clare village. He proposed that the original design and plan of the scheme be maintained whilst this is done and was seconded by Cllr PJ Ryan (IND).

Following the establishment of Irish Water in 2013, the provision of infrastructure like sewage schemes was no longer a role for Clare County Council as they have not been recognised as a water services authority for the past eight years, only for an excluded provision. Examples include, the operation and provision of storm water systems, inspection of domestic waste water treatment systems and the Rural Water Programme.

Senior engineer with the environmental and water services section of the County Council, Cyril Feeney explained, “The local authority no longer have a legislative basis or powers to provide municipal water/wastewater services infrastructure. Those functions which are outlined under Section 32 of the Water Services Act 2007 reside solely now with Irish Water.

Feeney confirmed that the contents of Cllr Begley’s motion would be forwarded to Irish Water to obtain a response.

Clare County Council must include a support letter when the motion is forwarded, Begley emphasised. He asked that the work carried out a decade ago and the reduction of the scheme in half be highlighted by the local authority.

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