‘We’ve been betrayed’

Clr Jimmy Harte meeting protesters from the Moville/Greencastle area in Lifford yesterday. The group are opposed to a new sewerage plant at Carnagarve. Photo Conor McGonagle. (3001cg61)
Clr Jimmy Harte meeting protesters from the Moville/Greencastle area in Lifford yesterday. The group are opposed to a new sewerage plant at Carnagarve. Photo Conor McGonagle. (3001cg61)

Following the announcement on Wednesday that An Bord Pleanala have given the go ahead for the Moville-Greencastle Sewerage Plant, a local environmentalist has claimed they are ‘more determined than ever’ to stop the controversial project going ahead

Enda Craig, spokesperson for the Community for a Clean Estuary said the group have ‘major concerns’ about the report, which will give the controversial project the green light and bring to an end to the twenty-one year saga.

However Mr Craig reinforced the group’s view by saying they will seriously consider taking the decision to the High Court for judicial review and, if needs be, to the European Court as they have “grave concerns” about the publication.

“The full detailed report will be released next week and we will be looking into this forensically. There are too many unanswered issues at the proposed site and we will be looking for answers.”

Mr. Craig says the group feels like this is “a total betrayal” but they will not take this decision laying down.

“We are ten times more determined to fight this than ever. We are considering taking to the High Court or Europe if needs be.

“The next process now is for the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) to consider giving Donegal County Council a discharge licence to pump into the estuary. We can assure you we will be watching this with eagle eyes.”

However Donegal County Council have welcomed the news from an Bord Pleanala.

Senior Water Engineer Paul Kilcoyne told the ‘Journal’ the Council welcomes the decision of An Bord Pleanala.

“We will now look towards progressing the scheme to construction at the earliest opportunity.”

In a report released on Wednesday by An Bord Pleanala it found that the application by Donegal County Council, lodged with the Board on the 23rd of October, 2008 would be approved.

It said in making its decision, the Board considered a number of different options including the requirements of the Urban Wastewater Directive, the current unsatisfactory situation regarding wastewater discharges from the towns of Moville and Greencastle to Lough Foyle, and the urgent need to address same by improved wastewater collection and treatment systems. It considered the Environmental Impact Statement and further information presented by the applicant at the oral hearing and in writing in response to the further information requests by An Bord Pleanála, and finally the submissions made by observers including in evidence to the oral hearing and in writing to the Bord.

It added: “Having considered the reports of the Inspector who conducted the oral hearing, including the assessment of the environmental impacts of the scheme, it is considered that, subject to compliance, including the omission of the proposed sewers and pumping station at Glenburnie, the proposed development would go ahead.”

The report states that four pumping stations will be sited at Carrickarory, River Row, Carnagarve and Greencastle Pier with the main treatment plant at Carnagarve also.

A pumping station at Glenburnie was denied planning permission on ‘amenity/environmental protection grounds’.

The report took into consideration the amenities of the area or of property in the vicinity of the treatment plant or pumping stations, the water quality, ecology, aquaculture or recreational amenities of Lough Foyle, the cultural heritage of the area and the character of the landscape or the visual amenities of the area before making its final decision.