Fianna Fáil TD for Mayo, Dara Calleary TD, has called on Irish Water to fully clarify their intentions in relation to the treatment plant at Belleek in Ballina and said that his confidence in their handling of the issue was a rock bottom.

Deputy Calleary was speaking following a meeting, which he organised, between public representatives in Ballina and Irish Water. The meeting took place last Monday.

He commented, “The Irish Water team once again confirmed that Ballina would not be the site of a regional sludge hub. They also outlined proposals for an investment programme to upgrade the facility. The meeting focused heavily on the smells that come from the site and we ensured that Irish Water were left in no doubt that these smells are a real issue and that something has to be done.

“They agreed, following the pressure, to appoint an Odour Specialist to examine the plant immediately and to report back to public representatives.

“However, as part of the investment they will be increasing the sludge treatment capacity of the plant by up to 20%. They could not give us any detail as to where this extra sludge is coming from. This is completely unsatisfactory at this stage.

“We demanded another meeting at which they would outline this information which will take place in September. We also insisted that Irish Water would have a public information meeting on developments in Belleek so that everyone will have a chance to see what’s planned. They also agreed to this.

“All of these developments are subject to Planning Permission. I left Irish Water in no doubt that my confidence in their handling of this issue was at rock bottom and they need to stop messing us around and provide answers. I will continue to pursue them on this matter,” he concluded.