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Minister to approve Murrisk water scheme


A THING OF THE PAST? Hopes are high that signs like this will no longer be needed in Murrisk village after the announcement of funding for a local group water scheme.

End in sight for beleaugured residents of Croagh Patrick village

Anton McNulty

YEARS of having brown water coming through their taps could soon be a thing of the past for residents of the West Mayo village of Murrisk, with confirmation that the Murrisk Group Water Scheme will be approved.
Minister for Rural and Community Development Michael Ring, TD, confirmed to The Mayo News yesterday evening that the Murrisk Group Water Scheme is to be approved soon, which will result in clean water being piped to approximately 350 houses in the region.
“I can confirm that the proposed scheme called Murrisk Community Water Connection (formerly called Murrisk Group Water Scheme) is due to be approved this week. The amount of funding which will be made available will be determined following agreement between the group, Mayo County Council, Irish Water and the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government regarding the cost of the scheme,” Minister Ring said yesterday [Monday].
“The project when completed will bring, for the first time, a piped water supply of high quality water – supplied by Irish Water - to the approximately 350 houses in the Murrisk area,” said the Westport-based TD.

The Murrisk community have campaigned for a number of years for a clean water supply, with their current supply coming from Croagh Patrick. A cross-community steering committee was set up to tackle the problem which has blighted the village that attracts thousands of visitors each year to climb Croagh Patrick.
The committee held a number of high-profile protests and called for an extension of the Lough Mask water supply from Westport to Murrisk. Last year, the committee agreed with Mayo County Council and Irish Water to set up a group water scheme which has been waiting departmental approval.
Minister Ring said the approval of the group water scheme will be a major step forward in ensuring the community is serviced with high quality drinking water.
“This is marvelous news for Murrisk. Having worked closely with the local community, Irish Water and Mayo County Council, as well as having several meetings with my colleague, Minister for Housing Planning and Local Government, Eoghan Murphy, on this issue, I am delighted that the people of Murrisk will finally have high quality drinking water.
“For individual families, this means having the certainty of high quality, potable water being piped into their homes. As a community, Murrisk will now be able to plan for the future with confidence. I commend Minister Eoghan Murphy as well as the local community under the chairmanship of Chris Grady; Mayo County Council and Irish Water for helping to bring resolution to this issue. This is major step forward for the community of Murrisk,” concluded Minister Ring.

Brown water
Earlier this month the extent of the difficulties facing the residents was highlighted in The Mayo News, when it emerged that brown water was still emerging from taps in Murrisk.
“Since the heavy rain started in July and August the water has got particularly bad and I can’t wash any whites because the water will destroy it,” local resident Patrica Foy told The Mayo News at the time. She added:  “I have to go to Louisburgh to do my washing and while I’m there I collect water for drinking. You can’t even cook with that water. If you are boiling potatoes it leaves a brown scum at the top and it is absolutely disgusting.”
News of the delivery of the group water scheme is bound to be greeted with relief by the residents of Murrisk who will hope that further investment in facilities in the village can yield growth in the tourism industry in the area.