Multi-million water infrastructure investment for Inishowen

The Fullerton Pollen Dam, Illies, Buncrana. (1301C20a)
The Fullerton Pollen Dam, Illies, Buncrana. (1301C20a)

A multi-million euro investment in East Inishowen’s water infrastructure has been welcomed, but confirmation that Letterkenny’s supply will be increased by the Eddie Fullerton Dam in Illies - ahead of homes in that area - has caused concern.

Yesterday, Irish Water, in conjunction with Donegal County Council, announced a “fantastic” e73 million investment in Donegal, with e4.6 million awarded to the East Inishowen Regional Water Supply Scheme.

As part of these works, the water network infrastructure from Illies water treatment plant at the Eddie Fullerton Dam will be extended to Greencastle.

Irish Water say the works will ensure the decommissioning of the Greencastle Water Treatment Plant and the removal of this scheme from the Environmental Protection Agency’s Remedial Action List, which are areas identified as needing urgent improvement. There will also be a E6.4 million investment in replacing watermains across the county, including in East Inishowen and Carndonagh in tandem with road resurfacing works.

The news has been welcomed by Inishowen Cathaoirleach, Rena Donaghey and Councillor Martin Farren, who pointed out how a number of housing developments in recent years had been rejected due to inadequate water supply.

However, Colr Donaghey told the ‘Journal’ she was concerned at the new supply will be extended from the Eddie Fullerton dam to Letterkenny ahead of areas in Inishowen - including in the Illies itself.

She said: “While I am not against anybody getting water, I certainly want Inishowen to be serviced first. There are people at the end of the line in the Illies, who have very, very intermittent water supply, which is just insane. Some planning applications in that area have been rejected due to inadequate water supply. We need Inishowen to be adequately supplied first, before Letterkenny.”

Colr Martin Farren said the investment was “great news” for everyone in the area who has dealt with inadequate supply for a number of years.