Leahy expresses 'concerns' over Irish Water's €1.3 billion Shannon plan
RENUA Ireland leader and Offaly County Councillor John Leahy has warned that a midlands social dividend is required for local consent to be secured for the controversial Irish Water plan to pump water from the Shannon to Dublin.
"Anything that delivers secure, reliable and sustainable long-term water supply is to be welcomed. Nowhere needs such infrastructure more than the neglected Midlands which is the forgotten heart of the country," Leahy remarked.
However, the Offaly County Councillor warned, "Irish Water cannot just drive a coach and horses through the Midlands in building this project. We are not going to buy an outsider driven pig in a poke."
"There will have to be a visible social and economic dividend that will, for example, drive our developing tourist industry," he added.
“What, for example, is the status of the previous plan to build a reservoir on the Offaly-Laois border at Garryhinch which would be supplied from the Shannon’s lowest lake, Lough Derg?" John queried.
"This plan, costed at €450 million, involved an eco-park by the reservoir and 1,000 construction jobs. Where is it and are we getting this eco -park?" he continued.
“The Midlands tourism project needs a transfusion of investment and facilities. This pipeline will involve serious disruption to farmers and communities. The least that Offaly deserves for its part in saving Dublin is a sustainable tourist amenity,” said the Renua leader.
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