Up to eight households in the Derrymartin area of Castlebar still have no connection to running water despite “all that needs doing is the opening of a valve” according to Fianna Fáil councillor Blackie Gavin. The Castlebar based councillor has raised the issue of the plight of the people in Derrymartin on a number of occasions at different council meetings. At this week’s Water Supply and Sewerage SPC of Mayo County Council, Cllr Gavin called for the committee to “write out to whoever is in charge of the Nephin Valley Group Water Scheme and get them to turn on the water supply to the Derrymartin scheme, there are seven or eight houses there who have gone long enough without water.”
Ger Munnelly, Mayo County Council engineer, told the meeting: “The people of Derrymartin have a letter from the Nephin Valley committee saying that they wanted a €200 contribution from them to connect up to their group water scheme. That was agreed to by the people in Derrymartin, and they also paid €1,300 per household to get everything up to scratch on their side for the connection. But now the Nephin Valley side say they want €900 per household for the connection not €200. We’ve had meetings with both sides and the National Federation of Group Water Schemes, but Nephin Valley won’t budge. We’ve gone through all the costs with both sides and the figure of €300 per household was come up with, and Derrymartin were prepared to pay that, but Nephin Valley weren’t to accept it.” Mr Munnelly told the members of the committee that the €900 was made up of a contribution of €400 for the treatment plant and €500 to upgrade the Nephin Valley network too.
Cllr Gavin said, “It just goes to show what can happen when things like this are in private ownership, if this was a Mayo County Council scheme it would be sorted in no time.” Cllr Gavin’s proposal to write a letter was supported by the other councillors and seconded by Sinn Féin’s Rose Conway Walsh.