Sinn Féin M E P and Td Liadh Ní Ríada and Carol Nolan along with Tipperary County Councillor Séamie Morris met with groups opposing Irish Waters attempts to route water from the Mid West region to supply water to the the East of the country on Friday last ion the Hibernian Inn in Nenagh .
Members of the Shannon Protection alliance , The fight the Pipe campaign and local land owners spoke about the potential economic destruction of their lands and livelihoods and also the fact that the transfer of a huge natural asset from one region to another is economic vandalism and also totally unnecessary as the figures being portrayed by Irish Water are outdated and very wrong particularly when we now know that the leakage in their own piping infrastructure in Dublin is now over 51%. Cllr Morris said that this attempted robbery of a huge natural asset is both wrong and unnecessary and will be resisted at all costs as our children and our childrens children will not thank us if we allow such poor spatial strategy in terms of allowing the East of the country to grow at the expense of the 1.5 million people in the Mid West who are dependent on the water to survive .
He also gave a run down as to when this was first mooted and how the goalposts and figures used by Irish Water have changed whenever they met strong opposition , stating that the water initially was to be taken from North of Athlone then Terryglass then only at winter in one pipe but now it is 330 million of cubic litres of water per day 365 days of the year in two pipes. Cllr. Morris also spoke about the fact that R P S consultants were the lead consultancy firm for Dublin city in finding an alternative water supply and how R P S were also the consultants in the disastrous Poolbeg incinerator project and the fact that 3 of the senior consultants at R P S wer now senior figures in Irish Water and how amazingly the same R P S consultants were the consultants for Tipperary county council in protecting our most natural and prized asset paid for by DUBLIN CITY COUNCIL (talk about the foxes minding the chickens ) Cllr Morris also spoke about the Development Contribution levy on abstraction withing the county that he put in place whereby Irish Water should have to pay 1c per m3 of water and 15 euros per metre of pipe installed in the county but yet Irish Water have never showed these figures in their calculations and costs .
The Fight the Pipe campaigners spoke of the destruction of their lands with the 2.3 metre pipe and 50 metre wayleave leaving their lands totally useless causing huge economic damage to some of the best dairy and equine land in the country lands that had been heavily invested in over generations. The Shannon protection alliance spoke of the destruction to the to the lake itself and the fact that it was protected by European directives . Liadh Ní Ríada spoke of her amazement as to whether the 1.2 billion projected costs would not be better spent on fixing the pipes in Dublin . Cllr. Morris spoke of the importance to engaging with the process including the public consultation and also the fact that the National planning framework process is starting in Febuary and it is important that there is proper spatial strategy put in place which protects the mid west region from such predatory actions. With that in mind Cllr Séamie Morris has said that he will facilitate a meeting with the Dublin Sinn Féin T D s and the Mid West Sinn Féin tds in Nenagh on December 16th .