A town that lost blue flag recognition at two of its three beaches for environmental breaches has been sanctioned for two new multimillion-euro schemes.
Youghal, in east Cork, has been approved for a waste water treatment plant and a sewerage system upgrade.
The Government allocation, announced by Phil Hogan, the environment minister, brings an end to a 12-year campaign by Youg-hal Town Council during which time blue flag designation was withdrawn from some of the town’s beaches.
Raw sewage is currently being dispersed into the River Blackwater.
The money will fund an €11m waste water plant at Cork County Council’s facility at Foxhole, close to the town centre, in addition to a €7m replacement for the sewerage pipe network.
Cllr Barbara Murray (FG), who serves on both the town and county councils, said the schemes will provide treatment capacity for up to 16,000 people.
“The scheme is going to tender immediately for pre-qualification applicants and, all going well, work should commence later this year,” she said.
The county council is expected to meet 20% of the cost. However, earlier this year, county council officials said they would be seeking assurances that Irish Water, the new national body set to oversee water management, would absorb the debt when it was established.
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