Written by Eamon Ó Cuív Wednesday, 30 May 2012 00:00
Galway West Fianna Éamon Ó Cuív TD has criticised the Minister for the Environment Phil Hogan for not providing any money this year for new group water schemes.
Deputy Ó Cuív said, “There are still a large number of areas in the country that do not have the services of a piped water supply from either a group scheme or from the mains and are totally dependent on wells, many of which are of variable quality and a reliability and they are often run dry during the summer period.
“There are a number of areas around the country where work has been done by engineers drawing up plans for new group water schemes. But it would now appear that these areas are unlikely to get water in the foreseeable future under Minister Hogan’s policy. This is the same Minister who has introduced a Household Charge and is talking about the re-introduction of rates through a site valuation. It is inconsistent for the Minister to say that this charge is to provide services to citizens but these same citizens are refused access to a public water supply, group water supply or to public sewerage.
“Since this Government has come into power it has taken a very negative attitude towards rural Ireland, in relation to education issues, waste water services, garda services, army barracks and basics such as water and sewerage.
“There is a need for policy to ensure that the last remaining houses in the country wishing to connect to either the mains or the group water scheme are facilitated in doing so. I did considerable work on this issue when I was a Minister in the Department of Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs. It is very disappointing that this Minister has now dismantled all of the progressive policies of the previous Government and is failing to provide these vital services to rural people.”