Dáil debates

Wednesday, 22 September 2021

Saincheisteanna Tráthúla — Topical Issue Debate

Water Supply

9:30 am

Photo of Paul KehoePaul Kehoe (Wexford, Fine Gael) | Oireachtas source

I thank the Leas-Cheann Comhairle for the opportunity to raise this important issue on behalf of the people of County Wexford. Last night, I met online with a number of people who have been affected by this issue. We are aware that more than 50 people have been affected by the Gorey outbreak. These are confirmed cases of illnesses associated with it. I ask the Minister of State to expedite the report of the independent investigation and, as quickly as possible, give people full confidence in the water supply from the Creagh plant in the Gorey area.

I know there have been issues relating to power cuts, pumps, water, alarm failures and heavy rainfall. Those issues amalgamated and the result was water infected with e-coli which, in turn, caused an awful lot of people to become sick. The most important outcome of this debate would be for the people of Gorey to regain confidence in their water supplies. It is easy to point fingers but we must look to the future. People must have confidence in the water supply and it is up to the Minister of State and his Department to make sure the report is expedited to give the people that confidence as soon as possible.

It is unfortunate that this issue happened. It is not good enough. I know an awful lot of people expect clean, safe water. It is incumbent on everybody, including Irish Water and Wexford County Council, to provide it. It is timely that we will now accelerate the establishment of Irish Water as a single water utility company. Dual responsibility has been going on for long enough. There needs to be one responsible entity and it is incumbent on the Government and Irish Water to establish Irish Water as the single water utility company.


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