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Danger: Water Abstractions Bill Affecting Tipperary Brought To Cabinet

Part of Tipperary’s Lough Derg shore line.

The present Fine Gael Cabinet has approved new legislation that should allow for the development of a controversial aqua pipeline that hopes to extract water from the River Shannon to feed Dublin’s continuously leaking water pipes.

Minister supposedly in charge of Housing, Planning and Local Government, Mr Eoghan Murphy yesterday, Tuesday December 17th, conveyed a memo to Cabinet, proposing the drafting of a Water Environment (Abstractions) Bill. This Bill would allow for the licensing of large-scale water abstractions, within the Irish State.

However, the real aim of this Bill is to allow by law for a massive, controversial €1.3 billion Shannon pipeline to proceed. Backed by Irish Water, this project, proposes to use water from the River Shannon to supply water to Dublin.

First mooted in 2011, the scheme was estimated at €470m. In 2014, three years later, estimates for cost were €500m. The project today, just a five years later; and reminiscent of the National Children’s Hospital Project, same is now estimated at costing taxpayers €1.3 billion and rising; all for the benefit of Urban Dublin.

The project has been already fiercely opposed by Tipperary landowners, latter the owners of property along the proposed route. Same argue that its impact will be detrimental to the Lower Shannon region. They further argue that the 40% to 50% of leaking pipes first introduced under British rule in Victorian times within the Dublin region, if repaired, would fully negate any need to abstract water supplies from Ireland’s 224-mile-long river, named after ‘Sionna’, a Celtic goddess.

For readers unaware of this aqua pipeline project; same proposes to extract some 330 to 350 million litres of water from the Shannon river, piped through a 170km pipeline, from Lough Derg’s Parteen Basin in Co. Tipperary, across Ireland to Dublin city, overseen by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), latter who recently declared that there are now just 20 pristine river sites within the Republic of Ireland; same down from over 500 such sites in the late 1980’s.

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