A Donegal parish council and Irish Water have clashed over the failure to connect a major tourist facility to a sewage scheme for a village.
The Glencolmcille Parish Council has hit out at the utility for omitting the Glencolmcille Folk Village from a €18.4 million wastewater project.
Work has commenced on the Donegal Group B project which includes the upgrade of the wastewater treatment plant at Glencolmcille, a new sewer network in the village and two wastewater pumping stations.
The parish council says the scheme was first planned over 40 years ago and that the original area of the scheme’s coverage has been radically reduced even though the number of dwellings has increased by at least 100 per cent.
The council has also hit out at the €220,000 it has been quoted by Irish Water to have the folk village - which is 270 metres from the nearest connection - connected to the new system
Irish Water says the cost quoted for the connection is in line with what Donegal County Council would have charged prior to 2014. It said Donegal County Council “made the decision to de-scope this network extension. This plan was in the tender stage when it was inherited by Irish Water who proceeded with it as it met urgent current need”.
Liam Ó Cuinneagáin, cathaoirleach of Glencolmcille Parish Council, said the folk village has been omitted as a beneficiary of the scheme despite visitor numbers of 45,000 a year.
“The Glencolmcille valley sewerage scheme was first planned in 1974, seven years after the opening of the folk village in 1967 – 50 years ago this year,” he said.
“The community appreciates and welcomes the fact that it is getting a modern sewerage system; it is beyond its comprehension, however, that the development is not serving the main tourism attraction of the area, developed by Fr McDyer.”
Irish water said the Commission for Energy Regulation do not mandate Irish Water to service private enterprise free of charge.
“The folk village was invited to make a new connections application in line with the practice of any other business around the country who wish to connect to the Irish Water network.”