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24th July 2019 | Biodiversity, Environment, Health, Marine, Press Releases, Waste

Councillors to meet Irish Water to discuss sewage discharge into Dublin Bay

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Dublin City Councillors are to put questions to Irish Water at a special meeting in City Hall tomorrow (9.30am council chamber) on the increasingly frequent sewage contamination of Dublin bathing waters from the Ringsend treatment plant.

This meeting is on foot of an emergency motion tabled by Green Party Councillors Donna Cooney and Claire Byrne at July 1st Dublin City Council meeting.

Cllr Donna Cooney, who represents Clontarf and is a year-round sea swimmer, said Dubliners want answers from Irish Water and has vowed to vigorously protect Dublin Bay.

“I truly believe sea swimming is an amazing experience and so good for your health and wellbeing. It’s also free and increasingly popular – as highlighted in the RTE documentary Vitamin Sea. We had over nine hundred bathers interested in swimming at our event on Bloomsday and it was nearly cancelled due to a sewage leak. Also a bathing restriction was in place during the enormously popular kite festival on Dollymount in June.” 

Cllr Claire Byrne, who represents the South East Inner City, said:

“We know that our waste treatment plant is not longer fit for purpose after decades of under-funding and neglect. While upgrade works are taking place, we still need more urgent investment to bring the facilities to a standard that can cope with our growing population. In the meantime though we need better, more frequent water quality testing with real time information and effective communications from Irish Water so that people know what is going on.

“It is really not good enough, especially during this fine weather,  that citizens can’t enjoy our beaches and swim in our waters. We talk about Water Animation Strategies on the Council, but the reality is we don’t have the water quality to support such activity. Hopefully this meeting with Irish Water will bring some solutions so we can protect Dublin Bay as a natural amenity for everyone to enjoy.”

Dun Laoghaire Cllr Ossian Smyth who is also a sea swimmer organized a meeting last week with the Water Institute in DCU with a number of Green Party Councillors on the coast line to discuss various technologies that can speed up water testing and help improve public information and ultimately lead to cleaner water.

Green Party councillors will work together to find solutions to sewage contamination so that we can protect our amenity. With the holiday season upon us we want Dubliners and visitors to be able to enjoy our beaches.