Shannon pipeline ‘is needed’ Green Party Minister claims
THE delivery of the planned €1.3bn Shannon to Dublin water pipeline is needed according to Green Party Minister Malcolm Noonan, despite previous opposition in his party to the project.
The project, which represents the biggest investment in Ireland’s water infrastructure in more than 60 years, has faced public opposition from two campaign groups, Fight the Pipe and the River Shannon Protection Alliance, who say the project will result in the “destruction of 2,000 acres” of farmland.
Responding to questioning, Minister Noonan said the pipe is needed to address climate change and to ensure the supply is fit for purpose and can withstand extreme weather such as droughts and storms.
“It will enable the provision of treated water to communities in north Tipperary, Offaly, Laois, Westmeath, Kildare, Meath and Wicklow in addition to Dublin,” he said.
“The delivery of the Shannon water supply project is a key strategic investment priority for Irish Water under the National Development Plan 2018-27.”
The Green Party’s support for the project comes despite recent opposition within the party to the plan by high-ranking members.
Green MEP Ciarán Cuffe last year said the Government should prioritise water harvesting and water conservation to reduce the need for new supplies.
“Pumping water from Lough Derg to Dublin will cost more than €10m annually, and may breach the European Union’s Water Framework
Directive,” he said. “High energy costs for pumping will also threaten our climate mitigation targets.”
Independent Tipperary TD Mattie McGrath, a vocal opponent of the plan, asked Minister Noonan, “as a member of the Green Party, to stop this madness which will have an effect on ecology, land masses, farmers and people who want to carry on their business uninterrupted”.
“Compulsory purchase orders and notices to treat will be issued. The land will never be the same again. There are problems whenever there is that kind of major excavation of the land.
“It is fine when a road is made because the road is made compacted, but the pipe will always keep sinking through the land. There will be considerable damage to the flora and fauna, and to the rich heritage in the lands it goes through.”