The Environment Minister needs to firmly commit to the replacement of 3kms of lead pipes in Old Mervue and guarantee the quality of water in order to put the minds of Galway residents at ease and restore confidence, according to Fine Gael Senator Fidelma Healy Eames.
Speaking in the Seanad earlier this week, Senator Healy Eames also called on Minister John Gormley to outline the measures that will be put in place to ensure this guarantee.
“Fears over water safety are escalating on a daily basis with the news of 23 water supplies around the country having suffered lead contamination. People’s confidence in the safety of their water is understandably diminishing and the situation is such that ‘safe’ water supplies cannot be trusted.”
The Senator said that the situation has been compounded by recent news that the temporary water supply installed by Galway City Council was found to be lead contaminated. She said that “initial steps proposed by the Council to remedy the situation are in no way an adequate means of restoring public confidence”. The only acceptable measure, according to Senator Healy Eames, is the “complete replacement of the 3kms of pipe in question” as “residents’ minds will not be at ease until this demand is met”.
“The people of Galway city simply do not know who to trust... For two years now Galway residents have battled with Cryptosporidium, E coli, and now lead poisoning. One woman in Old Mervue area spoke to me last evening [Monday] about her concerns over a recent miscarriage and she questioned the likelihood of a link with the water.
“All measures that have been taken so far have been reactive ones. Comprehensive supervision and clear oversight must be given by Minister Gormley as to the state of our water supplies. Councils simply cannot continue to be caught on the back foot. Galway needs this special attention to restore confidence,” she concluded.