Who is responsible for Old Mervue’s drinking water asks McDonnell

The Galway City Council must clarify if it is responsible for providing quality drinking water to Old Mervue and update residents on progress in obtaining grants for the connection of new pipes to individual houses.

This is the view of Independent Cllr Declan McDonnell who said there is “some ambiguity” regarding who is ultimately responsible for the provision of drinking water to the tap.

“This needs to be clarified as a matter of urgency,” he said.

At a meeting of the West Regional Authority in Castlebar on Tuesday, Cllr McDonnell questioned Michael Henry, the senior official of the Environmental Protection Agency, regarding who was responsible for water quality.

Mr Henry said the responsibility for the quality of water in Galway was the city council’s and that it was its responsibility to bring it to the kitchen tap of the house.

In view of this information Cllr McDonnell is demanding that this information be clarified so that the people of Mervue should get quality water delivered to their tap.

“If the Galway City Council have to provide drinking water to the tap, then the Department of the Environment must provide extra grant aid as a matter of urgency,” he said.

The council’s director of services Ciarán Hayes has written to the Department of the Environment in relation to this matter and is awaiting a reply. Cllr McDonnell has also written to Minister John Gormley on the issue.

Cllr McDonnell said the situation for the people of Old Mervue was “a burden and an inconvenience”. While thanking the Mervue Residents Association and others for delivering free water to the elderly, he said the amount that is being delivered is inadequate.

“People of the area, and the elderly in particular, have had to subsidise out of their own pockets the purchase of drinking and cooking water,” he said. “Why are so many national figures, who have broken the rules been compensated and rewarded, while the people of Mervue are being left without the basic human right of clean uncontaminated water.”

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