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Irish Water punished with ‘slap on the wrist’ for Tinure pollution – Munster

12 April, 2016 - by Imelda Munster TD

Speaking on the back of the scandal that saw Irish Water prosecuted by the Environmental Protection Agency for failing to ensure sewage waste from a water treatment plant at Tinure in Co Louth did not cause pollution, Louth Sinn Féin TD Imelda Munster expressed her dismay at the companies disregard for the environment, and disillusionment as to why Irish Water appears to get away with causing pollution on a reoccurring basis.

Deputy Munster said:

“This isn’t the first instance of pollution by Irish Water. In the past eighteen months, there have been two other incidents similar to this in Monaghan and Cavan, which saw Irish Water fined. These are only the incidents that we are aware of. It’s also worth noting that the company has only been fined €3,500 combined, despite the fact that each case could carry a maximum fine of €5,000.

“There have also been calls on many occasions to investigate other areas, such as claimed sewage discharge in Doldrum Bay, Howth. Although the prosecutions have been welcomed, the EPA must go further in ensuring our waters remain pollution free. Repeat offenders must be actively discouraged from polluting and I feel that a combined fine of €3,500 does not have that effect on a company which is willing to spend another €88 million on meters which have the potential to become obsolete.

“I will be raising the issue with the minister via parliamentary questions. I want to know what measures, if any, have been put in place to prevent incidents like these occurring in the future; how stringent these measures are; and have there been other allegations of pollution, and if so, have they been followed up.

“If pollution was being carried out by a local farmer or business, the courts would be quick to deter them from committing such crimes again. It is baffling how Irish Water are continually punished with a slight slap on the wrist.” 

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