No ‘quick fix’ for Galway water problems, says Mayor

The Green Party Mayor of Galway City, Cllr Niall Ó Brolcháin, today dismissed speculation that a quick-fix solution had been ignored.

The Green Party Mayor of Galway City, Cllr Niall Ó Brolcháin, today dismissed speculation that a quick-fix solution had been ignored.

"I wish that the Council were in a position to provide an immediate solution to the problems at the Terryland plant,” said Mayor Ó Brolcháin.

“I can understand the frustration of Galway residents when they hear speculation that a quick-fix solution might have been ignored. But the reality is that water services have been neglected for such a long period of time, and now need such major investment, that a quick-fix solution is impossible.

"The quickest way of getting clean water flowing again to residents and businesses in Galway is to divert water from other sources in the county. This is the solution that Minister (for the Environment, Dick) Roche's own officials proposed when they came to Galway a fortnight ago.

“The Council is pursuing this course of action in tandem with the upgrade of the old Terryland water treatment plant.

"Rules, which come from the Government and from the EU, mean that public projects of the scale of the Terryland upgrade are inevitably slowed down by red tape and procedure.

He went on to criticise role of Mr Roche, as well as local representatives, in resolving in the crisis.

"Minister Roche has contributed considerably to the delays by withholding the staff that the Council needed to administer this project.

"Local Councils can only work on so many major projects at once. I have argued strongly since I was elected to the Council three years ago that water services should be at the top of the priority list, but not everybody shares my viewpoints.

"In fact, Minister Frank Fahey and his colleagues on the council continue to criticise me for suggesting that safe water supplies are at least as important as new roads and bypasses.

"Problems at the Terryland plant and at sewage treatment plants in Oughterard and elsewhere have existed for decades. They result from a legacy of reckless over-development and under-provision of public services, which is replicated across the country, and has happened on the watch of the Fianna Fáil/PD Government.”

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