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Reality or mirage?


A THING OF THE PAST? Hopes are high that signs like this will no longer be needed in Murrisk village.

Clean water supply in sight for Murrisk and Lecanvey

Michael Gallagher

The scandal of ‘Third World’ water coming out of taps in Murrisk and Lecanvey may be nearing an end at last.
The communities nestled in the shadow of Croagh Patrick have long sought a solution to their water-supply problems, and there was good news for them at a local municipal district meeting in Belmullet yesterday (Monday).
Senior Executive Engineer with Mayo County Council Kieran Shally said there should be mains water flowing to the area in late 2022 or early 2023 – as long as the project remains free of financial restrictions.
“We are currently at an advanced stage to appoint consultants to the project and I expect to have the first meeting with them in two weeks’ time. Possible routes and preliminary costings will then be done on bringing the water to the Murrisk area alone and also on pipe sizes for further expansion to Louisburgh.
“When designs and costings are complete, decisions about moving the project forward will then be taken and assuming there are no financial impediments, work will start in late 2021.”

‘Absolutely disgusting’
Residents in Murrisk and Lecanvey have been complaining about the poor quality of their water supply for years now. The current water supply for the local community comes from Croagh Partrick, and the community has long campaigned to be connected with the main Westport water supply.
Just last September, Murrisk resident Patricia Foy told The Mayo News that she has to travel to her mother’s home in Louisburgh to wash white clothes and collect drinking water because the water from the taps is filthy and not fit for purpose, particularly after heavy rainfall.
“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,” Patricia said.
“If you have a shower the water leaves a stain like mahogany. The water affects everything in the house. The tank in the attic is full of silt and muck. There must be a foot of silt at the bottom of the tank and that has to be cleaned out. It is not just me, it affects all the residents. It is scandalous.”

Erris in need
Cllr Christy Hyland said he was delighted to hear there was progress, as the situation is extremely serious. “At the weekend, what was coming out of some of the taps in the Murrisk/Lecanvey area was Third World water. This is an absolute disgrace, and I want to know, and the people want to know when will water flow on the new project, because until there is a proper water supply the area cannot move forward and reach its potential.”
Cllr Gerry Coyle said he was pleased to see a finish line in sight for the project and added that areas of Erris are in dire straits too. “Carratigue, Porturlin and other areas are just as bad and just as important. Remember, Westport was crying out for water not so long ago and if the second scheme hadn’t come on stream there would be nothing for Murrisk, Lecanvey and Kilsallagh.”

Planning permission
Those points were agreed by Cllr Peter Flynn who said Westport had been at absolute capacity when Minister Michael Ring secured a second supply line in recent years. Cllr Flynn went on to ask the officials about their views on planning permission in the Murrisk area in the short term.
“What happens anyone looking to build a house there now before the water is connected. Are they assessed on being connected to the Croagh Patrick supply or is the future situation taken into account?”
Senior official Padraic Walsh said he would not and could not answer a hypothetical question and stated every application would be viewed on its own merits.