Fianna Fáil TD for Kildare South Seán Ó Fearghaíl is accusing Irish Water of a timewasting exercise after it was revealed the super quango wants to re-evaluate the Kildare Town waste water project, despite the fact that it has already been through a planning and tendering process.

Deputy Ó Fearghaíl commented, “€18 million euro has already been spent on a state of the art sewerage treatment plant for Kildare, however, it’s use is not being maximised because the collection network has not been upgraded.  €4 million was invested to facilitate this network, which will deliver the effluent to the treatment plant; tenders were approved and the process was due to be completed.  However, according to Irish Water’s capital investment plan, this project will now be subject to full planning.

“This is a ridiculous situation and a doubling up of processes.  This is clearly a time wasting exercise and nothing more.  Kildare missed out on the boom because there was no functioning waste water system capable of catering for additional housing.  Plans were underway to rectify the situation and were on the verge of completion before this bonus driven super quango came in to throw a spanner in the works so that it can to avoid spending in an area where there has been no significant development in recent years.

Deputy Ó Fearghaíl added, “People in Kildare are all too aware of the housing shortage that it being felt in many parts of the country.  Local people are being forced to move away from the town to find homes, which cannot be built because the basic essential services are not there.  These services had been approved by the Department of the Environment before the establishment of Irish Water, but Minister Hogan has chosen to wash his hands of the decision and pass the buck to the new multi-billion euro utility company.

“Minister Hogan expects people in Kildare to pay hundreds of euro a year in water charges, yet the water facilities in the town are hampering any construction or economic progress.  Irish Water will invest no more in services than had been provided by the Department and local authorities in recent years, yet it is happy to re-commission the planning and tendering process for a project that had previously been given the green light.  This is more evidence of this bonus driven super quango squandering taxpayers’ money.

“It makes absolutely no sense to abandon this project, especially when vast sums of money have already been invested.   I’m urging the Minister to intervene in this situation and to let common sense prevail”, he concluded.