Fianna Fáil TD for Clare Timmy Dooley says the news that Kilkee beach is set to remain closed for a number of days is a major setback to the local community.
The HSE took the decision to issue a precautionary bathing ban after it was revealed that an Irish Water wastewater pumping station discharged raw sewage into the Victoria stream.
Deputy Dooley said, “This news comes as a shock to the local community who have been repeatedly reassured by Irish Water that the issues with the wastewater pumping station in Kilkee had been resolved. The decision to close the beach comes as we are approaching the height of the tourist season and just days before the opening of the music festival in the town.
“The beach closure will undoubtedly have an adverse impact on businesses in the town. The beach is the key amenity in the town and attracts people from far and wide into the area. Its closure will result in a fall in the number of people visiting the town in the days ahead.
“There have been persistent problems with the wastewater pumping station in Kilkee. Just last December the beach was closed for an extended period of time due to the discharge of raw sewage. The issue arose due to an electrical fault at the pumping station and Irish Water carried out upgrade works to prevent a repeat of the problem. These works have been completed and Irish Water assured the local community that the issue would not arise in the future. However here we are back at square one.
“Irish Water officials need to get down to Kilkee and meet with local people and businesses to set out what exactly went wrong in this case and the steps they are taking to prevent a repeat of the problem. Irish Water clearly need to be better prepared for incidents such as this. An electrical fault at a pumping station should not result in the discharge of raw sewage, safeguards need to be put in place to prevent this from occurring,” concluded Deputy Dooley.