Fianna Fáil TD for Offaly, Barry Cowen has welcomed the announcement of a €21.5 million investment in the Birr and Tullamore Water Supply Schemes by Irish Water.

“This upgrade is vitally important for the communities of Birr and Tullamore, and will ensure better quality water for up to 18,000 people.

“Today, I was informed that Murphy Process Engineering has been awarded the contract for the design, construction and commissioning of water treatment plants and additional reservoirs for both the Birr and Tullamore Water Supply Schemes.

“This is a major investment and will include new water treatment plants, reservoirs at Ardan and Birr.

“Works are due to commence into the next number of weeks, and it is expected that it will be completed by 2020.

“This is the type of investment that is needed to improve our water infrastructure, and should have been the priority all along, instead of a failed billing system.

“I look forward to seeing progress being made on project, and will keep residents informed of any and all developments as they arise,” concluded Cowen.