Gleann Riada residents bring case to Europe

Residents of the Gleann Riada Estate in Longford town are preparing to bring their case to the European Commission.

Residents of the Gleann Riada Estate in Longford town are preparing to bring their case to the European Commission.

Local MEP, Marian Harkin confirmed to the Leader that she was assisting residents with the forthcoming discussions in Europe on the Longford town based estate, which is now regarded as one of the worst developments in the country.

This also follows on from the release of over half a million euro in bond fees for the estate to Longford County Council over the past three weeks.

“Over the past few weeks I have been engaged in discussions with the European Commission on the problems faced by householders in the Gleann Riada estate,” the MEP for the North/West said, adding that there were a number of European Directives governing the management of waste water systems which were also being investigated.

“We need to establish if Gleann Riada complies with - or in fact contravenes - this legislation on waste water and as far as I would be concerned, the estate would be high risk under the current septic tank rules.

“Ireland is right now before the EU Court of Justice in regard to the national septic tank regulations and we are investigating whether the severe sewage problems at Gleann Riada represent a further infringement of that directive.”

Ms Harkin said the conditions under which the residents were now living in were “unacceptable” and the time had come for “meaningful and constructive engagement” so that the problems at the estate could be addressed adequately.

“I will be organising a visit of residents to meet Commission officials so that they can receive information and guidance on the matter, and - if appropriate - involve the Commission in helping to resolve the current untenable situation.,” she added. “Local authorities must take responsibility for the estates within their areas and this discussion with the Commission will help to move that aspect forward as well.”

Longford County Council issued a statement confirming that it had received the bond of €360,000 for the estate.

“Longford County Council has secured a developer’s bond of €360,000 to carry out work on Gleann Riada estate and this is in addition to €200,000 which was released last week,” the statement read. “The council has engaged a contractor to assess the underground services in common areas within the estate and the results of this survey are currently being examined by members of our Unfinished Housing Estates team. Once this is done the council will finalise its plans to remedy any defects in the common areas and will proceed to carry out these works.

“In parallel with the surveys in the common areas, the council is arranging for consultants to carry out assessments in the individual houses. It is planned to make contact with property owners later this week to establish if they have carried out the assessments which were previously recommended on HSE advice. Funding is being prioritised for these specific actions.”