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Scrap meters and replace lead pipes – Ó Clochartaigh

12 May, 2015


Leagan Gaeilge Thíos - Irish Version Follows

Irish Water should scrap their plans to install water meters in Galway and instead use the money to replace lead pipes and other faulty infrastructure, according to Sinn Féin Senator, Trevor Ó Clochartaigh.

Speaking today, he said:

“It is outrageous that many houses in Galway which have contaminated water due to lead piping will have water meters installed without these pipes being replaced.

“Irish Water and Galway City Council need to step up and indicate where residents might be at risk. Sinn Féin have had complaints from many areas and are getting independent tests done to assess the level of danger in some areas. But Irish Water should be the ones providing customers with locations where their water supply could be at risk from lead contamination.

“Irish Water is refusing to step up and perform tests in all areas, leaving residents to investigate the matter themselves. The financial burden shouldn’t fall on households to upgrade the pipes within their homes. This is unacceptable. In many cases it is the local authorities who were responsible for water supply that installed them and residents had no input into the type of piping being installed.

“The HSE also needs to perform a role in this and should conduct an investigation immediately on the impact this contamination could have on the public’s health.

“This new crisis of lead contamination in the water affects homes and business premises built before 1970 which have lead piping. 

“The replacement of lead pipes is not part of the “first fix free” programme, where Irish Water will repair leaks to pipes outside the hall door, but within the property.

“The huge amounts of money being expended on Irish Water and water meters would be better spent addressing the problems of leaks and outdated infrastructure. 

“The Government has wasted a massive amount of money on the corporate monstrosity of Irish Water. We have seen close to €100 million spent on incompetent ‘consultants’, €570 million so far on water meters, even though people are being charged a flat rate, and millions more on inflated executive salaries. 

“It is not too late for the Government to abandon Irish Water and the double taxation that is the water charge, and to invest instead in a properly run, efficient, and safe water system administered by the public officials who have a vast well of experience and know-how in the field.” 

Scrappáil méadair agus athraigh píopaí luaidhe – Ó Clochartaigh

Ba chóir d’Uisce Éireann na pleananna le méadair uisce a chuir isteach i nGaillimh a chaitheamh i dtraipisí agus an t-airgead a úsáid chun píopaí luaidhe agus infreastruchtúr fabhtach eile a athrú, dar le Seanadóir Shinn Féin, Trevor Ó Clochartaigh.

Ag labhairt dó inniu, deir sé:

“Tá sé scannalach go bhfuil uisce truaillithe in an oiread tithe í nGaillimh de bharr píopaí luaidhe agus fós go gcuirfear méadair uisce í bhfearas gan na píopaí seo a athrú. 

“Caithfidh Uisce Éireann agus Comhairle Cathrach na Gaillimhe teacht isteach agus léiriú cá h-áit go díreach a bhfuil an chontúirt. Tá cuid mhaith gearáin déanta liom féin & Comhairleoirí Shinn Féin i gceantair éagsúla agus tá muid ag fáil roinnt tástálacha neamhspleácha déanta le leibhéal an chontúirt in áiteanna áirithe a mheas. Ach, ba chóir gurb iad Uisce Éireann a thabharfadh le fios cén áit a bhfuil an baol truaillithe ann ó phíopaí luaidhe. 

“Tá Uisce Éireann ag diúltú tástálacha a dhéanamh i chuile cheantar, dhá fhágáil faoi na tionóintí cúrsaí a fhiosrú dóibh féin. Ní chóir go dtitfeadh an chostas seo ar na teaghlaigh seo le h-uasghrádú a dhéanamh ar na píopaí ina dtithe féin. Níl aon ghlacadh agam leis sin. I gcuid mhaith cásanna is iad an tÚdarás Áitiúil a bhí freagrach as na píopaí a chuir isteach agus ní raibh baint ná páirt ag na tionóintí leis an gcinneadh sin.

“Tá ról le n-imirt an Feidhmeannacht na Seirbhíse Sláinte sa scéal seo freisin agus ba chóir dóibh fiosrúchán a dhéanamh láithreach ar an dochar a d’fhéadfadh an truailliú seo a dhéanamh do shláinte an phobail. 

“Baineann an ghéarchéim is déanaí seo le truailliú luaidhe san uisce le tithe agús foirgintí a tógadh roimh 1970 a bhfuil píopaí luaidhe iontu. 

“Ní thógtar athrú píopaí luaidhe san áireamh mar chuid den scéim ‘Chéad Deisiú’ atá ag Uisce Éireann, áit a n-athrófar píopaí pollta taobh amuigh den príomhdhoras ach laistigh de theora an tsealúchais. 

“B’fhearr go mór fada na suimeanna ollmhóra airgid atá dhá chaitheamh ag Uisce Éireann ar na méadair a úsáid chun déileáil leis an uisce atá ag dul le fána agus infreastruchtúr seanchaite a athnuachan.  

“Tá an t-uafás airgid curtha amú ag an rialtas ar an bhfathach corparáideach seo Uisce Éireann. Tá suas le €100m caite ar ‘chomhairleoirí’ mí-éifeachtacha, €570 m go dáta ar mhéadair uisce, cé go bhfuil ráta caighdeánach dhá ghearradh ar gach duine, agus na milliúin eile ar thuarastail thar fóir d’fheidhmeannaigh.  

“Nil sé ró-mhall don rialtas tarraingt siar ó Uisce Éireann agus an cháin dúbailte atá dhá bhaint de shaoránaigh na tíre, agus infheistiú in áit in gcóras deá-rite, éifeachtach agus sábháilte faoi lámha oibrithe poiblí a bhfuil an t-uafás taithí agus saineolas acu sa réimse seo.”

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