Fiachra Ó Céilleachair, Comhalta Údarás na Gaeltachta

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The latest on the battle to sort out water supply problems in Ring and Old Parish

Issued : Thursday 31 July, 2008

Cllr. Fiachra Ó Céilleachair has sought clarification from both the Dept. of Environment, Heritage & Local Government and Waterford County Council in relation to plans for the water supply in An Rinn and An Seana Phobal. The correspondence below outlines the latest state of play:

An t-Aire John Gormley TD,
Minister for Environment, Heritage & Local Government,

A Aire,

I refer to REP 5307/JG/08 (per public water supply in the An Rinn/Ring and Ana Seana Phobal Gaeltacht communities in Co. Waterford), regarding which your good office is presently preparing a reply for me.

I am forwarding you, below, an update I have received in the meantime from the local authority.

I look forward to receiving further clarification.

Regards,

Cllr. Fiachra Ó Céilleachair,
Member of Dungarvan Town Council & Comhalta Údarás na Gaeltachta,
Maoil a' Chóirne, An Rinn, Dungarvan, Co. Waterford, Ireland.
Tel. (087) 222 0235. Web: www.Labour.ie/fiachra


Date: Wed, 30 Jul 2008 10:02:28 +0100
From: [email protected]
Subject: FW: RE: Ring Helcick Water Supply Scheme
To: [email protected]

RE: Ring Helvick Water Supply Scheme

Cllr. O'Ceilleachair,

Further to your email dated 29 July 2008 regarding the commencement of the construction phase of the aforementioned project.

RPS Consultant Engineers Ltd. were appointed to assess the strategic supply options for the Ring Helvick Area and to subsequently prepare a Strategic Review Report for the Area, the initial draft of this report was issued in December 2007.

The report also reviewed the findings of the Ardmore Water Supply Scheme Preliminary Report and the results of the groundwater investigations carried out in Dungarvan in May 2007.

Following our detailed technical appraisal and assessment of the Strategic Review Report and the recommendations contained therein, it has been necessary to revise some aspects of the report. The latest revision of which was received on 28 July 2008.

The report rules out the option of supplying water to the Ring Helvick Area from Ardmore, mainly on economic grounds. The report also identifies a number of groundwater sources with potential to supply quality water with the largest yielding borehole located in Mapestown, Dungarvan.

The recommended solution proposes to develop a Wellfield in Mapestown and to utilise this groundwater supply to provide water to the Ring Helvick Area at an estimated all-in cost of EUR5.3 million. The existing water sources will be decommissioned and considerable improvements (i.e. mains upsizing and pressure increases) will be made to the existing network in the area including the provision of 24-hour storage in the form of two new storage reservoirs.

It is regrettable that the approval of the report could not be completed earlier but as you will appreciate, it is imperative that Waterford County Council selects the best option for the area in terms of security of supply and value for money. In order to guarantee this, it was important to conduct a comprehensive evaluation and assessment of the recommendations contained in the Strategic Review Report.

The necessary documentation required for submission to the Department is currently under preparation. Waterford County Council will request the Departments approval of the recommended supply option and the aforementioned construction stage budget.

This documentation should be complete for submission in September 2008.

It is unlikely that the construction stage of this project will commence in 2008.

Regards,

John O'Flynn, Deputy County Manager





> Date: Tue, 29 Jul 2008 12:11:02 +0100
> From: [email protected]
> To: [email protected]
> Subject: REP5307/JG/08
>
> Please Quote Ref: REP5307/JG/08
>
> 29 July 2008
>
> Email: [email protected]
>
>
> Dear Mr. Ó Céilleachair,
>
> I have been asked by Mr. John Gormley, T.D., Minister for the
> Environment, Heritage and Local Government to refer to your recent email
> in connection with water supply in the Co. Waterford Gaeltacht area.
>
> A further letter on this matter will issue as soon as possible.
>
> Yours sincerely,
>
>
> __________________
> Eddie Kiernan
> Private Secretary
>
>
> >>> Fiachra Ó Céilleachair <[email protected]> 29/07/2008 10:22
> >>>
>
> An t-Uas. John Gormley TD,
> Minister for Environment, Heritage & Local Government,
> Teach Custaim,
> Baile Átha Cliath 1.
>
> A Aire,
>
> I refer to previous communication with your good office (ref. rep. #
> 2954/JG/07) in relation to urgently required modifications to the public
> water supplies in the An Rinn/Ring and Seana Phobal/Old Parish
> communities in Co. Waterford.
>
> In correspondence to me of December 5th 2007 last, your good office
> clarified a number of issues in relation to planned investment for the
> Water Supply in the Co. Waterford Gaeltacht area. On that occasion, you
> wrote that:
>
> "The Ring Helvic Water Supply Scheme in included in the Department's
> Water Services Investment Programme 2007 - 2009 as a scheme to commence
> construction in 2008 at an estimated cost of EUR3.57m. The scheme will
> provide a new reservoir and new and upgraded water distribution mains to
> improve the overall reliability of the water supply system for the Ring
> and Helvic areas. The Department is currently awaiting the submission of
> a revised Preliminary Report, which will set out the scale, design and
> costs of the scheme. When this report is received it will be dealt with
> as quickly as possible and on approval, will allow the Council to
> prepare Contract Documents with a view to inviting tenders for the
> scheme at the earliest possible date."
>
> In addition to this very positive statement, you had previously
> confirmed in local press that the An Rinn (Ring) Water Supply in Co.
> Waterford features among 955 individual water and sewerage supply
> schemes in the country to have been earmarked in a Water Services
> Investment Programme worth EUR5.8 billion under the National Development
> Plan. In your reported announcement (please see
> http://www.munster-express.ie/070928/news10.html ) as Minister for
> Environment, Heritage & Local Government you confirmed that EUR272, 227,
> 000 of this money is allocated for Waterford City and County Councils
> for various projects - including the EUR3,575,000 package for Ring.
>
> The quality and quantity of water supply locally has been an issue for
> some 30 years in the An Rinn/Ring Gaeltacht community. There are
> previously stated commitments to effect a new supply infrastructure for
> both An Rinn/Ring and Seana Phobal/Old Parish. The "Ring/Helvic Water
> Supply Preliminary Report and Polluter Pays Report" was issued to the
> Dept. of Environment, Heritage & Local Government by the local authority
> on February 11th 2003. A Contract for exploratory well drilling was
> awarded (per T. Briody Ltd.). Drilling and pumping tests were completed.
> Tests for additional ground water sources for the Ring/Helvick were
> progressed. A "Dungarvan Groundwater Investigations Report" was
> produced on November 21st 2007 and a "Strategic Review for the Ring
> Helvick Area" on December 12th 2007. Subject to clarification, it
> appears that these matters remain under review with the local
> authority.
>
> The quality of An Rinn/Ring's water supply remains a constant matter of
> contention, with problems emerging in nearby Seana Phobal/Old Parish in
> more recent years. I've been making representations on the issue since
> November 1997 and have had various correspondence in return, which refer
> to a range of surveys, reports and plans - including a more recent move
> to examine the possibility of linking to a supply source in Ardmore (in
> which case, might also benefit An Seana Phobal/Old Parish). One
> particular letter to me from a Senior Engineer from Waterford County
> Council, dated 10th June 2005, opens with the acknowledgement that 'the
> water supply for the Ring/Helvick area has and continues to be an area
> subject to problems in relation to both quantity and quality of water'
>
> Despite that assessment of its own supply, Waterford County Council -
> as a planning authority - has approved an extraordinary level of
> development in Ring, without matching it with a basic infrastructure
> such as reliable water supply. In the last 6 years, over 70 houses have
> been built in variously sized residential schemes in zoned parts of
> Ring. Similar applications for in excess of 45 houses were approved by
> the Council and there are remaining patches of land marked for intensive
> residential development. Independently of this - and excluding the
> completion of the Council's own housing scheme in Ring - that same 6
> year period has also seen some 70 single dwellings being built in
> various parts of the parish.
>
> If there are indications that the Ring Helvic Water Supply Scheme (as
> per the Department's Water Services Investment Programme 2007 - 2009)
> may not commence construction in 2008, then it would be a source of
> major disappointment. At this stage, it may also need to be clarified
> that the ringfencing of the estimated cost of EUR3.57m for construction
> of same is unaffected by any revision in public spending commitments.
>
> You had indicated to me previously that upon receipt of a revised
> Preliminary Report from Waterford County Council (setting out the scale,
> design and costs of the scheme) that your good office would deal as
> quickly as possible with it and, on approval, would allow the Council to
> prepare Contract Documents with a view to inviting tenders for the
> scheme - so progressing it for construction in 2008. I'm anxious to
> establish if your good office is in the unfortunate position of still
> awaiting the submission of same. If so, and unless there is some
> tangible reason as to a delay, it would be a damning indictment of
> Waterford County Council's commitment to serving the Gaeltacht
> communities in its jurisdiction.
>
> I would respectfully urge your good office to:
> (1) Advise as to the current "state of play" in respect of this
> very important matter.
> (2) Urgently clarify with the appropriate offices of Waterford County
> Council as to their disposition on the matter.
>
> I look forward to further correspondence from you re. the above.
>
> Le gach dea-ghuí,
> Cllr. Fiachra Ó Céilleachair, (Member Dungarvan Town Council &
> Comhalta Údarás na Gaeltachta),
>
> Maoil a' Chóirne, An Rinn, Dungarvan,
> Co. Waterford, Rep. of Ireland.
> Tel. (087) 222 0235. Web: www.Labour.ie/fiachra

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An Comhalta Fiachra Ó Céilleachair

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