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27 Jan 2022

Is the canal in Offaly town suitable for swimming?

Offaly councillor asks - Is the canal suitable for swimming?

The canal might be suitable for swans, but is it okay for humans?

Questions have been raised over the suitability of the canal in Tullamore for swimming.

Cllr Tony McCormack has asked Offaly County Council to test the water quality of the Grand Canal in Tullamore.

The Fianna Fail councillor made the request at the monthly meeting of Tullamore Municipal District after it was reported that due to staff changes in the HSE the council has taken over the sampling of small private water schemes.

Cllr McCormack said he was a member of the triathlon club and they have used the canal for swimming since Covid.

"Could you sample the water for us to tell us if it's safe for bathing?" he asked.

"We used to use Lilliput, but the water quality there is not good. It would be great if the council could sample it once a month," he said.

Responding, John McNally, senior executive engineer with the water section of Offaly County Council said: "Initially I thought it shouldn't be an issue to take a sample but when you said on a monthly basis it may have changed the goalposts slightly. I will look into it," he added.

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