Clare Fianna Fáil TD Timmy Dooley has described as daft and entirely uneconomical the plan to direct water from the River Shannon to a reservoir that is yet to be built in County Offaly for the purposes of sending it to Dublin.

“There is no sense in constructing a purpose-built reservoir in the middle of the country to pull water out of the River Shannon and send it to the greater Dublin area where up to half of it will just run out of leaking pipes.

“This issue was discussed today at the Joint Committee on the Environment and I made it perfectly clear that this plan makes no sense and will be met with strong opposition by myself and many community leaders along the River Shannon.

“The 1,000 jobs touted by Bord na Móna during the three-year construction phase of the €480 million reservoir development on a 1,500-acre site at Garryhinch, Co Offaly could be created by upgrading pipes in Dublin and the wider region.  This would also reduce the amount of water leaking out of pipes every day.”

“There are many tourism opportunities available to the country without building a water sports centre in the middle of the country to justify this unnecessary 800-acre man-made lake.  If this project goes ahead the amenity value together with negative impact on boating and fishing on Lough Derg will offset any projected tourism gain in the midlands.

“The argument put forward in favour of this project doesn’t stand up.  Those in favour say it needs approval urgently because Dublin and surrounding countries are running out of water, yet this project is not expected to be completed until 2020 at the earliest.”

“I would respectfully suggest that Dublin City Council and the other authorities involved go back to the drawing board and look at desalination (converting salt water to fresh water suitable for human consumption).”