Tipperary councillors warn that water supply is on a 'knife-edge'






Tipperary councillors warn that water supply is on a 'knife-edge'

Clonmel, County Tipperary continues to be “really let down” by Irish Water, Cllr Pat English told the recent meeting of the Borough District.

Cllr English said businesses have been forced to shutdown and send staff home over water problems, which must be sorted as a “matter of urgency”.

Cllr Michael Murphy said the town’s water supply is on a “knife-edge”. He said Poulavangue and Glenary water treatment plants supply two-thirds of Clonmel and are “not fit for purpose”.

The Fine Gael councillor said water pressure is reducing in many Clonmel estates. “We are talking about a new County Development Plan and realising the ambition and vision of every person in this room over the next 10 years, but I’m really concerned that we can’t get our key infrastructure right and water is key infrastructure. It is really important that the long-term plan is still on track, but we need a short to medium-term solution as well,” Cllr Murphy said.

Cllr Richie Molloy said there are continuously water outages in estates across Clonmel, with numerous outages in Barron Park most recently.

“It is so difficult to get through to Irish Water from the public’s point of view and the council is almost being blamed for it even though we are not responsible,” he said.

“If there’s a blockage in one house, it is very difficult for the owner to contact all the neighbours in the row. That’s something Irish Water will have to get to grips with.”

Cllr John Fitzgerald said Clonmel “doesn’t want to get a name for not coming through the pipes”, which is in ironic contrast to the town’s bad reputation for flooding in the past.

He said there are residents living in “hardship” over water supply issues. “Elderly people have had to leave their homes and go to relatives with a water supply.

“For a modern town like Clonmel, that’s not what you want to be doing,” Cllr Fitzgerald said.

He called on the council to be “robust in holding to account Irish Water personnel” in a planned Zoom meeting this month.

Mayor Siobhán Ambrose said Clonmel is a “blackspot” and that problems with the town’s water supply are going on “far too long”.
She also expressed concern about water supply issues emerging in rural areas such as Kilsheelan.