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Conway, Martin

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An tOrd Gnó - Order of Business

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14

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An tOrd Gnó - Order of Business

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An tOrd Gnó - Order of Business

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Senator Martin Conway

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Senator Martin Conway

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Snippet Contents:

There is nothing beyond the realms of possibility and it could have happened but the bottom line is that it should not have happened. It should be noted in this House that it happened and it was not appropriate. Nobody will ever get to the bottom of how it happened but it is regrettable that it did.
I have to thank the Minister for Rural and Community Development, Deputy Ring, for the rural regeneration fund, of which County Clare got almost €7 million. Lahinch Seaworld and Leisure Centre got €2.8 million, €900,000 went to Loop Head lighthouse, €1.7 million went to the Vandeleur Walled Garden in Kilrush and more money went to Holy Island. That said, there were projects that did not succeed in getting funding, and two in particular. One project which did not get funding was the Broadford sewerage scheme and the other was the Cooraclare sewerage scheme. Both sewerage schemes have been promised for decades. The ground for the treatment plant in Cooraclare was even purchased and several hundred thousands euro were spent but it just came to a standstill, in spite of commitments through previous Governments and the local authority.
I submitted this issue as a Commencement matter but it was ruled out of order because the Department did not want to come in and deal with the issue. It said that it was exclusively for Irish Water. It is my belief that the Government runs Irish Water so the fact that Irish Water was able to opt out of dealing with this as a Commencement matter is regrettable.
My question is simple. Can the Leader, on behalf of the people of Cooraclare in west Clare and Broadford in east Clare, communicate to the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment, that when any development in either of these villages is applied for, the message that comes back from the local authority is that it is premature ahead of a sewage scheme being constructed? The problem is that there are people in rural Ireland who are prepared to invest in development but it is not happening because of this type of situation. The Leader might ask the Minister to communicate with those communities who are unhappy with this and in his own good time, he might organise a debate on small village sewerage schemes because we need to get to the bottom of this.