Fianna Fáil Dublin City Councillors Tom Brabazon, and Sean Paul Mahon as well as Fingal County Councillor, Eoghan O’Brien joined local TD’s Darragh O’Brien and Sean Haughey to present to planners during yesterday’s An Bord Pleanála oral hearing on the proposed Greater Dublin Drainage Project at Clonshaugh in North County Dublin.

Speaking during proceedings which took place in The Gresham Hotel, Spokesperson on Housing, Planning and Local Government, Darragh O’Brien said, “Since it was first proposed, the Greater Dublin Drainage Project has deeply frustrated local residents. Should this giant sewage orbital development be permitted to proceed exactly as planned in the North County, our popular and scenic peninsula stands to be gravely affected not just environmentally but even economically given the impact it will have on tourism.

“It’s of no surprise then that over 34,000 public submissions have been received in relation to details contained in this plan – most notably the fact that sewage will only be treated to the minimum secondary level.

“I was assured by Irish Water last June that the focus of priority was on upgrading the Ringsend facility but that is clearly not the case provided we are here today pleading the case to review the plans due to proceed in our area.

“Still no cost-benefit analysis on what is a large capital project but we are told to believe it’s in line with prudent spending. Week in week out constituents are approaching my colleagues on Fingal County Council and I to voice these points. It is our responsibility as local elected representatives to ensure that their concerns are heard and acted on.

He concluded, “I reject the notion that a development of this scale is in the best interest of the North County and I strongly believe that the project needs to be examined in closer detail.”

Fianna Fáil TD for Dublin Bay North, Sean Haughey added, “This is a project that if completed as proposed, would be four times the size of Croke Park and imposed on quiet, residential suburban communities.

“In my view there have been series inconsistencies in planning down through the years and local residents have been the ones inconvenienced as a consequence. The main fear is the impact that this construction will likely have on the marine habitat that exists in the UNESCO Dublin Bay Biosphere.

“I have certain reservations regarding the health and safety systems in place in the Ringsend plant and therefore I do not have sufficient trust that Dublin Bay, Portmarnock’s Blue Flag Beach or Bull Island won’t be affected by sewage discharges.

“There is an acute awareness of the foul smell experienced by residents living in Sandymount, Ringsend area as a result of the operation of the plant nearby and there is real fear that it will be the same in the Northside.

“The sheer size and scale of this project makes it totally contrary to the proper planning and development of this area and I cannot support it’s construction at proposed,” concluded Haughey.