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29 Jun 2022

Limerick councillor questions Environment Minister over 'failure' to address water quality issues

Limerick Councillor confronts Environment Minister about water quality issues in county

Cllr John Sheahan questioned Minister Eamon Ryan on waste and drinking water in Limerick

A LIMERICK councillor has claimed that nothing has been done to fix waste or clean drinking water in the county since the previous Green Minister visited fourteen years ago.

Cllr John Sheahan voiced his frustrations at a recent in-person discussion held on the Climate Action Plan in Limerick by Minister for Environment, Climate and Communications Eamon Ryan.

“It’s been a long time since we had a senior minister before us,” stated the Fine Gael leader on Limerick City and County Council.

He recalled having a coffee with Minister John Gormley on that visit, where the pair spoke over wastewater and clean drinking water associated with Green policies implemented at the time.

The Glin-based public representative acknowledged that things have evolved since his meeting with the previous Green Party leader and that everyone is buying into climate change now.

“Despite this, virtually zero has been done to address waste and clean water in Limerick city and county, since that day in March, 2008,” he said to Minister Ryan.

He claimed that Limerick has been “left behind” in this area, and that every plan that has been brought back since has never been backed up by proper timelines or investments.

In response, the Green Party leader stated that part of the water problem is that Ireland has been reduced from 500 pristine rivers systems, down to 20.

“We can’t take an ever-expanding output in agriculture,” he stressed, referencing the presence of Ammonium Nitrate from fertilizers in East Limerick, which has affected water quality in the region.

He added that new policy would mean less pollution, as land used by farmers will be less intensive and fertilized, whereby farmers would be “paid strategically for the different uses that their land brings.”

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