Irish Water in fresh controversy

Cllr Micheal Carrigy on the stretch of the R194 road where the leaks occur. Photo: Michelle Ghee. www.gphotos.ie
Irish Water are coming under renewed pressure to replace a water mains along one of Co Longford’s busiest roads after at least half a dozen bursts were reported since Christmas.

Irish Water are coming under renewed pressure to replace a water mains along one of Co Longford’s busiest roads after at least half a dozen bursts were reported since Christmas.

The troublesome route, which lies along the main R194 from Aughagha Crossroads to Kiernan’s Forge in Killoe, has become a regular talking point at Municipal District meetings in recent months.

It has, according to Fine Gael Cllr Micheal Carrigy, been just as irritating for locals with heightened concerns being aimed at the deteriorating state of the road.

This week, he called on the water utility provider to provider to install the new mains and carry out similar work in the greater Aughnagarron area as a matter of urgency.

“There’s been at least six bursts between Kiernan’s Forge and Aughagha Cross since Christmas,” claimed Cllr Carrigy.

“A new stretch of pipework was installed coming into Ballinalee two years ago. The problem is though it’s old asbestos piping and the pressure that’s being put on that stretch is causing it to burst.”

Such is the force of water going into the underground mains, bursts have, on occasions physically lifted sections of road from the ground.

Cllr Carrigy said the route, together with a further section of piping close to Aughnagarron National School has brought with it additional problems.

“These two areas on the main R194 are damaging vehicles because of the uneven road surfaces,” he said.

Longford County Council, he added, has been forced to field several calls from disgruntled motorists, claiming their cars had sustained tyre damage as a result of the rugged road conditions.

He also revealed the local authority remain reluctant to spend a five figure sum of money on resurfacing works in Killoe until Irish Water keep up their end of the bargain.

That was confirmed at last month’s Granard Municipal District meeting when it emerged €70,000 had been set aside for resurfacing works.

Cllr Carrigy said in order for prevent that money from being reassigned elsewhere, Irish Water need to act now.

“Both of these routes need to be done and prioritised,” he said.

“You are talking about a 30km route here. Certainly the one in Killoe is one of the worst stretches in the entire county as regards bursts.

At the end of the day it will cost more in the long run if it’s not fixed now.”