Can’t Pay, Won’t Pay Cloch Cheann Fhaola is sending a letter to the president of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins, to voice their concerns about the burdens imposed on rural Ireland by recent amendments to the national Water Services Act.
The Cloch Cheann Fhaola group, which opposes the household, septic tank and water, charges, holds a weekly protest at noon on Fridays at the Falcarragh crossroads.
At their recent Friday protest, the group agreed a letter that maintained the national provisions put rural dwellers “under considerable stress, duress and uncertainty because it does not specify the exact nature of new regulations to be imposed” on septic tank construction, adding that the legislation also does not include grants or a public works element to alleviate a potentially heavy cost burden on rural citizens.
Rather, the group said in their letter, the bill gives “sweeping powers to the Environment Minister to impose retrospective standards on domestic wastewater treatment systems”. This authority could lead to remediation work costing many thousands of euro, the group said. They also said that more recent standards for percolation areas, which were not in place until the early 1960s, “could result in some rural dwellers finding themselves without sufficient land to comply with newly imposed standards and could be faced with the situation of not being able to continue living in their homes”.
The group’s letter to President Higgins states: “A constitutionally just law, concerning domestic wastewater treatment, would contain the exact details of the standards to be imposed and also incorporate some grant or public works element to alleviate the potentially extremely heavy cost burden from individual rural citizens.”
The letter, proposed by group member Mary Attenborough, was agreed unanimously at the
rally at the crossroads and signed by Dr. Attenborough on behalf of the group. The protest event concluded with a march along the Falcarragh Main Street in opposition to the household and septic tank charges.