Killarney residents criticise delays in sewerage scheme

The need for a long-awaited sewerage scheme to help protect the lakes of Killarney from pollution has been highlighted.

Changes in plans for a scheme to service a densely populated area north and east of the town have led to anger and frustration among residents who say they have been waiting almost 20 years for work to commence.

“There have been so many different proposals over the years that we don’t know whether we’re coming, or going,’’ said Matthew O’Connor, a campaigner for a scheme in the Kilcummin area.

In June 2012, Kerry County Council made a submission to the Department of the Environment for approval to proceed with a pipeline to the Killarney town treatment plant. The department later changed its mind and opted for a local treatment plant.

A business plan for Kilcummin sewerage scheme has now been submitted to Irish Water.

Residents and politicians favour the plan to lay a pipeline to Killarney, which would be connected with far more houses between Kilcummin and the town, which are at present served by septic tanks.

Cllr Brendan Cronin (Ind) said: “The whole saga is a sorry mess. A contractor was appointed (in 2007), but the work did not go ahead as they were not capable of doing the job. There’s now a need for clarity on the proposal.”

Rod Murray, a nursing home owner in Kilcummin, said they had capacity for another 20 bedrooms, but could not get planning permission until the sewerage situation was resolved.

Paul Cremin, senior executive engineer with the council, said taking the pipeline to Killarney would be the most economical option. It was also the original proposal and would help protect the lakes and River Deenagh.

He also said the capacity of the Killarney treatment plant to take the extra loading was not an issue.

A decision from Irish Water is expected in the next six weeks.

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