Plans to pipe water from Shannon to city will be opposed under EU rules
Campaigners objecting to plans to bring water from the River Shannon to Dublin will oppose the proposals under EU rules.
Irish Water has identified the Parteen Basin on the River Shannon as its preferred option for a new supply of drinking water for Dublin and the midlands, pumping the water across a 165km pipeline.
The Shannon Protection Alliance (SPA) has repeatedly raised concerns about the proposals on environmental and economic grounds. They vowed to rigorously oppose the plans.
SPA member Donal Walsh lives on the shores of Lough Derg. He said the move will affect the full length of the river.
"We have our own experts and we will be putting forward a strong case to An Bord Pleanala under a number of European directives. We will fight this to the very end, we believe this will end up in Europe. We have already been in talks with a number of MEPs," he said.
Locals along the River Shannon met the news with a degree of caution yesterday. Denis Dillon who runs Shannon Sailing on Lough Derg, said a key element of the plans would be securing water levels.
"It has to be properly managed because when the water level drops that's when cruisers can start to run aground. I wouldn't say I'm in favour of the whole idea but if they do go ahead it has to be responsibly managed," he said.
Mr Dillon said the business would be putting in a comprehensive submission on the plans. He said it was vital that any plan includes an adequate minimum depth.
In Carrick-on-Shannon local Independent councillor Enda Stenson said locals were not opposed to the plans but insisted that a proper management of the river needed to be put in place first.
"I understand we can't say a blanket no to these plans but the issue of the Shannon is much more complex than simply this.
"We need to see a proper management put in place across the entire river. There are three or four different bodies who all have a hand in running it but no one has overall responsibility, nobody is taking charge and that is part of the problem.
"We shouldn't do anything until that happens with the correct structures in place," he said.