Senator Darragh O’Brien has secured a major commitment from the Minister for Public Expenditure to review the proposed sewerage treatment plant which is planned for North Dublin.

Speaking in a special Seanad debate (Nov 22nd) on capital expenditure Senator O’Brien said: “Under the greater Dublin strategic drainage scheme, it is envisaged that a monster sewage treatment plant will be constructed in north County Dublin, which is not required, at a cost of between €2.3 billion and €2.7 billion.  I urge the Minister to re-evaluate that project, which does not stack up in terms of value for money.  Localised plants are the way forward rather than a massive Ringsend II.”

Minister Brendan Howlin responded: “Senator O’Brien made some constructive points.  The issue of the greater Dublin drainage scheme has been raised on a number of occasions.  I am giving an undertaking now to the Senator that I will have it investigated.  I previously Minister in the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government.  There is a propensity for engineers to have big schemes.  I have given the Senator an undertaking that I will have the matter reviewed.”

Senator O’Brien said: “I am pleased that the Minister has given this public commitment to review this scheme.  I and thousands of people in north Dublin are completely opposed to this plan, which is totally unnecessary.  It is a pit that the Government Minister and his Fine Gael in the Dáil have remained completely silent on this matter.  I am now calling on Fingal County Council and the Greater Dublin Drainage Project Team to suspend all planning and administrative work on this scheme immediately pending the completion of this review.”

“This proposal is the greatest threat to the quality of life and environment of North County Dublin.  I am calling on the Government now to reject this proposal and for the people of North Dublin to continue to lobby their Government representatives in the Oireachtas and Fingal County Council.  I and my four Fianna Fáil colleagues on Fingal County Council will continue to fight on behalf of the people of North Dublin to ensure this project does not go ahead.”