SF MEP raises Lough Talt Water supply with European Commission
Sinn Féin MEP for the Midlands North West, Matt Carthy, has formally requested the European Commission to examine the ongoing failure to supply safe drinking water to 13,000 homes and businesses in South Sligo and North Mayo.
Speaking following submission of the request, Carthy said:
“When residents receiving water from Lough Talt were issued with boil-water noticed in February 2018 they could not have imagined that no measure would be in place to resolve the issue a full year later.
“But, for 10 of the last 12 months, 13,000 homes in South Sligo and North Mayo have been without safe drinking water due to contamination of the Lough Talt supply with cryptosporidium. This is a wholly intolerable situation for the affected families and businesses.
“The level of treatment currently provided at Lough Talt is clearly not reaching adequate public health & safety standards and local residents deserve a solution to be found.
“The Government is obliged to provide safe drinking water for the public under EU Directives. The fact that literally nothing has been done to either put new infrastructure in place to treat the problem or to switch residents onto a new water supply shows that there is zero urgency on the part of government.
“There is no doubt in my mind that if this were happening in a large urban centre something would have been done months ago. Yet residents in South Sligo and North Mayo are being forced to purchase bottled water or boil water before consumption. The cost and hassle of this over a period of a year, as well as the knowledge that government isn’t addressing the matter is creating despair and frustration in local communities.
“This week I have made the European Commission formally aware of this situation and I have asked for clarification on whether the Irish Government is indeed breaching EU law by failing to take action here. I have also asked what remedies can be made available to communities who feel completely abandoned.
“I will be engaging with local representatives on this issue as soon as I receive a response on this matter”.