Up to 50 homes in Kiltimagh are facing the threat of the power being cut off to their estate’s pumping station at the end of this month, which could pose a potential public health issue it has emerged this week.
Sinn Féin councillor Gerry Murray raised the issue at this week’s Swinford Electoral Area Committee meeting. Cllr Murray told the meeting: “We are about to have a serious issue with an estate [Rathcluain Village] in Kiltimagh, where the developer has pulled out and the ESB are looking for payment for the pumping station or they will cut the power to the station off on November 28. I would hope that the least that the State could do would be to intervene for the residents who have been left high and dry by the developer, and ensure that a very serious sanitation issue doesn’t arise.”
Cllr Murray also informed the meeting that it was future costs that ESB was looking to ensure were paid, and there were no arrears owed on the pumping station.
Fine Gael councillor Eugene Lavin echoed Cllr Murray’s sentiments, and urged the council to get involved with the residents’ association in the estate which he said was very active and well organised to work out a solution. Cllr Lavin also said he feared that if something was not done, within days people’s houses could be become backed up with sewerage if the pumping station power was cut.
Potential of setting a precedence
Acting director of services for Mayo County Council, Paul Benson told the meeting that the council could not get involved at this stage. He outlined that this was a private estate on private lands and that the council was not in charge of it. He said that it could set a precedence if the council got involved, and would lead to other developers not fulfilling their duties and penalise those good developers who carried out their duties. When asked by Cllr Murray what message the councillors could bring back to the residents of the estate if the council was not going to get involved. Mr Benson said: “The residents are there, the contractor still exists, and the power is still on at the minute, and they should be in talks with the contractor, but we will be monitoring the situation as it progresses.”