*Cllr Joe Cooney. Photograph: John Mangan
MAYOR OF CLARE, Cllr Joe Cooney (FG) received a round of applause from his colleagues when voicing frustration on the long-running wait for an announcement on Broadford and Cooraclare’s inclusion in a pilot wastewater scheme.
Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Darragh O’Brien (FF) announced the launch of the €50m scheme for essential sewage infrastructure for rural villages in April of last year.
Last September, Broadford and Cooraclare were submitted by Clare County Council in an official application for inclusion.
Clare’s Government TDs, Cathal Crowe (FF) and Joe Carey (FG) have previously stated on more than one occasion that announcements were due “within weeks”.
Speaking at a special meeting of Clare County Council, Cllr Cooney said the local authority had been “told numerous times there would be an announcement made on the wastewater scheme, it is a total disgrace to have no announcement on the pilot scheme. We can see why councillors are frustrated and why Cllr Kelly is constantly putting motions on the agenda for planning”.
Cllr Pat Burke (FG) commented, “Shame on the Government and shame on Minister O’Brien for making a promise to the people of Broadford”.
Deputy Crowe said, “there hasn’t been a false dawn, Minister O’Brien didn’t lead anyone down a garden path, that accusation cannot be levelled at Minister O’Brien, he gave a commitment in the school yard in Broadford and that will be honoured”.
Meelick native Crowe told the meeting, “ten or twelve villages will be announced in a matter of weeks, I don’t want to pre-empt it but I think it there will be good news”.
A frustrated Mayor Cooney responded, “We’re sick of hearing a couple of weeks at this stage, we’ve to move forward. Would you contact me by end of the week with a date for this announcement, I am sick of hearing a couple of this and a couple of that”. His remarks were greeted with a round of applause from across the Council Chamber.
Crowe said a timeline has been given. “We had agreed that 9th October would be the agreed date, my belief is we’ll have good news by then, if we get to 10th October it will be a different story”.