One wonders if so called authorities in Brussels are fully aware that Ireland was financially destitute in recent years; having paid 42% of the total cost of the European banking crisis, at a cost of close to €9,000 per person, according to Eurostat.
My reasons for making this statement is because I read today that Europe’s environmental watchdogs are possibly taking Ireland to court over the pumping of raw sewage into rivers and the sea. Yes we are guilty, purely because we as a nation were forced to accept an €85 billion bailout from the EU/IMF/ECB troika in late 2010 to allow us regain access to financial markets, fix our broken banks and return to sustainable growth. This achieved by over burdened resident tax payers, now it is estimated that all sewage treatment plants delayed will in fact be upgraded in the next 4 years, by 2021, at a cost of some €1.25bn.
EU Inspectors claim that 38 towns and cities have inadequate treatment plants for waste water, and are putting human health at risk, while leaving the country potentially remaining liable for millions of Euro in anti-pollution fines. The European Commission is expected to take the case to the European Court of Justice, after the Government failed to meet deadlines set for sewage plants to be built or upgraded by the end of 2000 and 2005.
In particular Inspectors have identified inadequate sewage treatment plants found not suitable for the populations of Nenagh, Thurles, and Roscrea in Co. Tipperary; together with treatment plants in the popular tourist centres of Killarney and Tralee in Co. Kerry.
In Donegal, Gaoth Dobhair, Killybegs and the Ballybofey/Stranorlar areas same have been similarly identified, while Cavan; Clifden; Roscommon town; Shannon town; Tubbercurry in Co Sligo and Waterford city are also included.
Authorities in Brussels however claim that Ireland had until the end of 2000 to ensure all urban areas, with more than 15,000 residents, should have had adequate sewerage systems by the end of 2005, thus removing the risk of human defecation being discharged from medium-sized towns into our rivers, lakes and estuaries.
Now with the added danger of the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union. (Widely known as Brexit, a portmanteau of “British” and “exit”), should Ireland be telling Europe’s environmental watchdogs to simply wait or more directly to piss-off?