‘Irish Water: If we want your land we’ll take it for the Shannon-Dublin pipeline’

In September this year, one farmer in north Kildare was told that the proposed Shannon-Dublin water pipeline would be running through his farm.

Earlier this month, Irish Water published its final options appraisal report on plans to build a pipeline – which could affect some 500 landowners – to supply Dublin and its hinterland with water from the River Shannon.

The farmer, who wishes to remain anonymous, has said that farmers are not being given enough time to make a case for their land not to be used.

“Irish Water is saying to us if we want your land we will take it for pipeline.

“We object to pipeline going through land as we are only a small farm and the land they plan to use is required for our livestock and it is also a flood plain.”

Reality struck when he saw the planned proposed route for the River Shannon cutting his farm in half.

“I just find it surreal to think that a Government organisation can do this without backing from a land owner.

The detail in these plans has gone on without the knowledge of any farmer, I just find it shocking to think that a company like Irish Water could draw up such plans.

“Irish Water has done all of its plans and surveys from GIS and from the air, they have not walked the land where they would see that the land they plan to use is in fact a floodplain.”

Alternative routes

Meanwhile, the farmer also said that a preliminary appraisal report showed an alternative route on the Irish Water website back in November 2015.

“They are bypassing a shorter route that has well known private college and also a well known hotel and golf course on it.

“They also had an international stud farm on the original 2km corridor but again moved away from this.

It looks like they have meandered around locations that carry notoriety and not due to historical or cultural reasons.

“What I would like to know is why were certain areas around north Kildare receive preferential treatment and yet have bulldozed their plans through other peoples land.”

The farmer said that his farm is very important to him and his family, that they have looked after it for years and it is upsetting to see Irish Water thinking they can come in and do what they like with the land.

“We will still be farming here but the next few years will be difficult if the pipeline goes ahead.

“Why did they not use the route alongside the Canal that already runs from the upper course of the Shannon?

“Irish Water will not listen. They have top down approach whereby they are saying to us that if they want that land we can get it and that it is not negotiation.”