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Minister assures Murrisk water campaigners of his support



Áine Ryan

A cross-community committee set up to address the serious health and safety issues regarding the water supply from Belclare to Louisburgh, has welcomed the promises of support made by Minister Michael Ring and Mayo County Council. A delegation representing the communities recently met with Minister Ring, Mayo County Council and Irish Water in Castlebar.
Speaking to The Mayo News yesterday, Mr Chris Grady, Chairman of Murrisk Development Association, said: “We welcome the fact that both Minister Ring and Mayo County Council expressed their desire to develop a mains water supply to Louisburgh and their assurance of their support to deliver a supply as agreed in 2007. However, Irish Water has reiterated the fact that a mains water supply is not on their short- or medium-term plans.”
He explained that the cross-community steering committee met subsequently and agreed on a compromise stance to investigate the establishment of a group water scheme from Belclare to Kilsallagh if Irish Water installs mains to Louisburgh to facilitate a supply from the Lough Mask scheme.
“We have now written to both the minister and the council regarding this development and we will now investigate the process of establishing a group water scheme, which will cost each household €1,350. But the progression of this is pending Irish Water’s agreement to bring the pipeline from Lough Mask. What is the point in us setting up a group water scheme if we don’t have a proper source?” Mr Grady continued.
The reliance of these communities on water sources coming from the Croagh Patrick has led to a major community campaign for clean water. A young child was hospitalised earlier this year with an infection from ecoli and cryptosporidium. The campaign held a protest when Taoiseach Leo Varadkar visited Westport during July.