Farmers and stakeholders affected by the route of the Shannon-Dublin water pipeline have been warned that the public consultation period on the pipeline is coming to an end.
The deadline for submissions during the current period of public consultation is due to close on February 14.
However, it is worrying to hear that so few people affected by the cross-country pipeline have made submissions to Irish Water of how the project will affect their farm, according to Fine Gael Cllr Gerard Darcy.
Darcy voiced his concerns at a recent public meeting on ‘The Preferred Scheme for a New Water Supply for the Eastern and Midland Region’ which was organised by the Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers’ Association.
The meeting, which took place in Ballycommon, Nenagh on Thursday February 2, was the first in a series of meetings set to be organised by the ICSA in the coming weeks.
For all the talk and all the meetings that have happened since the preferred route was announced, very few people on the ground have made submissions in relation to their own farms.
“This to me is critical, because when the time comes, if the pipeline goes ahead and compensation is being spoken of an awful lot of that conversation will be based on the submissions that the farmer has made at the various consultation periods along.
“From what I can gather there is very few people who have made submissions outlining how this pipe is going to affect their individual farms.
“Where necessary farmers should come together and put in joint submissions.
Because there will no point in us having a big row in five or six years time with Irish water if this goes ahead and we’re complaining about the difficulties it has caused.
“They will say, you had a consultation period back there in 2017 and you never availed of it,” Darcy, who is also a farmer set to be affected by the project, said.
A number of other issues were raised at the meeting which will arise if the pipeline goes ahead, including compaction as well as access to land or water.
Darcy also spoke of the concern in the area of who is going to police the roadways created during the project in order to deliver concrete, pipes and filling.
But we all know the difficulties we are having with security and rural crime. How are all those back roads into our yards and farms going to be secured?
Irish Water has invited submissions from the public regarding any additional information that should be considered in the development of the project.
The pipeline is set to travel 172km across the country from the abstraction point at the Parteen Basin across counties Tipperary, Offaly and Kildare before reaching Peamount in Co. Dublin, affecting close to 500 farmers.
The company has undergone three previous public consultations in the past which focused on the:
- The need for the Project and the Project Roadmap.
- The constraints that should be examined and the methodology used to identify an emerging preferred option from the four technically viable options available.
- The factors considered in the identification of the Emerging Preferred Option.
Public submissions, which can be made online or by post, to Irish Water must be completed by February 14.