I welcome confirmation from the Department of Environment, Community and Local Government that additional works to the Ennis Town Water Augmentation Scheme will proceed to tender in 2013.
I have long campaigned for the Ennis Water Augmentation Scheme to be rolled out in full and have liaised with Clare County Council officials and the Department of Environment, Community and Local Government on this.
I gave Minister Phil Hogan a detailed briefing on the past problems here in Ennis and outlined the case for further works when he visited the town earlier this year.
I am thrilled to receive confirmation that significant works in Ennis and Clarecastle have been added to the Water Services Investment Programme 2010-2013.
The contract provides for an additional five connections around a trunk main supply in the areas of Ennis and Clarecastle. This contract will cost in the region of €635,000 and will be carried out during Stage 3 works in Ennis. This funding is in addition to over €5 million in funding announced in earlier stages of the funding, specific to this area. It is envisaged that the contract will go to tender in mid-2013 and be completed by the end of 2014.
In total, some €42 million will be spent on water related matters in County Clare during the course of the programme. This is a hugely important investment
The town of Ennis and its environs, including Barefield, Clarecastle, Doora and Crusheen, have been struggling on a single water source in recent years. The 30,000 consumers of the Ennis Water supply have had to tolerate far too many interruptions in supply for the past number of years for a variety of reasons including boil notices.
We are looking to put that right with those significant ongoing and additional investments and I am grateful to Minister Hogan for including these additional works under already announced programmes.
In recent months, companies reliant on the water supply, including Roche Ireland, have met with me personally to also press the case for a reliable water source and I believe this announcement is good for business as well as households.
This announcement shows the value of having a strong local voice at the heart of Government and I am particularly pleased as this is an area I have campaigned for both in opposition and whilst in Government.
I will continue to press the case for investment in the Ennis water network and look forward to working closely with both council and Government colleagues in the years ahead.