150 jobs proposed for Portarlington

THE water reservoir planned for Portarlington will bring with it up to 150 new full time jobs.

THE water reservoir planned for Portarlington will bring with it up to 150 new full time jobs.

So claims a report from Bord na Mona on its plan to build a €470 million water reservoir near Portarlington which would supply water to Leinster but mainly Dublin.

While the project was announced last year details of what it would mean locally are contained in a briefing note prepared by the state company ahead of applying for planning permission next year.

Apart from the 1,000 construction phase jobs, the company says 150 jobs will be created in the operations/facilities management.

Senator John Whelan, who raised the issue in the Seanad last week, said the Government should back the project. Apart from addressing the water shortage problem, he believes it would create many badly needed jobs in Laois Offaly in construction, operation and long term spin off jobs. The project involves building a pipeline from Lough Derg in Tipperary to Garryhinch where the Shannon water will be stored and treated before supply to Dublin.

The state company’s Garryhinch site covers 1,450 acres with the lake covering 700 acres. The company plans to expand the treatment facility and storage area to the adjoining Garrymore bog which is 660 acres. It says eco tourism will be incorporated in reservoir design. A wind farm is also planned.

The project is being backed by Senator John Whelan of Labour who describes it as ‘shovel ready’ and said the jobs would be a huge boost

Senator Whelan says he has already met with Minister for the Environment Phil Hogan as well as Minster Pat Rabbitte.

“This brilliantly conceived and visionary project would create 1,000 jobs at the construction phase and hundreds more thereafter in its operation, and spin-offs in eco-tourism and leisure activities.

“The capital cost of €470m would be borne by Bord na Mona. With such a facility we could ensure secure, safe and sustainable water supply for households, businesses and industry,” he told the Senate.

The reservoir will initially supply water to Dublin, Kildare and Wicklow but in future could supply Laois, Offaly, Westmeath and Meath.