Limerick council leader threatens to sue Irish Water

Nick Rabbitts


Nick Rabbitts

Cathaoirleach Kevin Sheahan has threatened to sue Irish Water over sewage problems in the Deel Manor estate. Picture: Alan Place.
CATHAOIRLEACH Kevin Sheahan has threatened to sue Irish Water unless sewerage problems at an Askeaton estate are solved.

CATHAOIRLEACH Kevin Sheahan has threatened to sue Irish Water unless sewerage problems at an Askeaton estate are solved.

At this week’s full council meeting, Cllr Sheahan said there is a danger to public health, with sewerage flowing from the Deel Manor estate to the town’s River Deel. Having asked an Irish Water representative to address Limerick City and County Council’s Adare-Rathkeale area meeting nine weeks ago, he was left angry at not receiving any response from the state water body.

“This is not a political situation,” said the council leader, “It is an issue which could be a serious health problem. I can show you a pipe where 24/7 there is a flow of sewerage sludge into the river.”

The Fianna Fail councillor has long campaigned for an upgrade to the Askeaton sewerage scheme, and has had questions raised in Dail Eireann on the matter.

“It is going around in circles, and I find this extremely annoying,” he said, “The first day when I came into the council, I was asking about the sewerage system. We have been in a situation where we have been about to get the finance, but then the plans were changed, and they have shuffled us in with another parish”.

Cllr Sheahan described the system in Askeaton as “antiquated”.

“We have settlement beds. When you have wet weather, you have an overflow situation into the river. It is common for me to witness raw sewerage into my river,” he said.

When the 200-house Deel manor estate was originally built, a holding sewerage tank was put in place.

However, this was only supposed to be a temporary measure.

Upon his elevation to the top job in the council, Cllr Sheahan wrote to Irish Water.

“I asked if Irish Water would be notified, and would one of them come to our next meeting. I know for a fact Irish Water have not replied to us. This annoys and disappoints me,” Cllr Sheahan said.

He also believes the Environmental Protection Agency should be brought into the equation due to the public health concerns.

“The EPA have a responsibility here also, and I don’t see any reaction from them either,” he said, “Whoever is responsible for not doing anything about this should be subjected to a fine.”

Cathaoirleach Sheahan was supported in his call by Independent councillor, and barrister-at-law Emmett O’Brien.