A 4,200-signature petition from people living in a village on the Cork-Kerry border is to be handed to Cork County Council and Irish Water in an effort to get a proper water supply into the area.
The mayor of Co Cork, Cllr Seamus McGrath, and senior council officials have promised to intervene with the utility company because the supply in the Ballydesmond area “isn’t even fit for cattle to drink”.
Cllr Bernard Moynihan said that the area had been dogged with poor water quality for nearly 30 years.
He said €1.7m had been ringfenced to bring in a new supply, and as part of the scheme, two reservoirs would have to be built in the village.
The council has identified a new supply source and has carried out design work.
However, Irish Water, which is now in overall charge of the project, still has not purchased land for the reservoirs.
“People are travelling miles to get water. I wouldn’t give what comes out of the taps to cattle. It’s not fit to drink,” Mr Moynihan said.
“This is going on 30 years and I want senior members of this council to talk directly to Irish Water bosses.”
He said he wanted the council to get clarification of when works will be carried out and a definitive timeframe for their conclusion.
Cllr Tim Collins said he had also brought up the issue at local municipal district council meetings on numerous occasions and could not understand why it was taking so long to purchase land for the reservoirs.
“People living in the area have suffered quite severely over the years because of the [water] supply”, Cllr John Paul O’Shea said.
He added that local landowners were keen to assist by offering to provide land for the reservoirs.
“I hope there will be a resolution to this before Christmas,” said Cllr Gerard Murphy.
Mr Moynihan added that there were a number of shops and pubs in the village which relied on a good water supply, as well as lots of farmers and Munster Joinery, a company which is one of the biggest employers in the region with more than 1,000 staff.
Mr McGrath and senior council officials promised to immediately get in touch with Irish Water officials to emphasise the urgent need for action.
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