WE NEED TO GET IT SORTED

Amidst growing concerns locally that raw sewage coming ashore could do irreparable damage to both the local environment and the area ‘s image Inishowen TD, Pádraig Mac Lochlainn has called on all elected representatives for the Inishowen area to issue a united call on the management of Donegal County Council to stall their current plans for the Moville/ Greencastle sewerage scheme

Speaking yesterday Deputy MacLochlainn said the scheme should be ‘stalled’ until it has been independently investigated on a number of grounds.

With 4m. euro spent on the project so far the Buncrnana man said everyone should pause and take stock before spending any more money.

Stating that he had ‘genuine concerns’ about the whole project he outlined what these were: “Firstly an expert Senior Oceanographer, Mike Quinnell has put his professional reputation on the line and contested the effluent dispersal model of Donegal County Council and he insists that if any untreated effluent discharges from the pipe at Carnagarve, it will wash back onto the nearby beach and tourist amenity. This is an appalling scenario and to date, I have not seen Mr Quinnell’s assertion rejected or disproven.

“Secondly, Donegal County Council’s insistence that the waters at Carnagarve are coastal are subject to dispute. Many argue that the waters inside Greencastle and Magilligan are estuarine.

“Thirdly, the seabed of Lough Foyle is still unfortunately claimed by the British Crown Estate and therefore it is questionable whether Donegal County Council can legally claim ownership of the foreshore at Carnagarve unless there is agreement between the two governments.

Finally, there is the long standing question as to how the council found themselves back at Carnagarve considering the unanimously passed Donegal County Council motion from 1990 ruling out anywhere in Lough Foyle for the discharge of effluent. This was legally binding as it was then a reserved function for the members.

For these combined reasons, I now ask the seven county councillors in Inishowen and the other two TDs representing the peninsula to issue a united and joint call on the management of Donegal County Council to stall this project subject to an agreed independent investigation into all these matters.

In any event, the residents who have fought this down the years will continue with their European challenge but they shouldn’t have to walk this path alone”.