RESIDENTS of Shannonvale have said a problem in their community, which made local and national headlines in 1998, is still a problem – 22 years later.
Dan O’Mahony held aloft a pint glass of watery poo in 1998 for a photo opportunity.
Last week, Barry O’Mahony, Dan’s son, pointed out that now, one generation later, the problem with a leaking septic tank continues to pose a health and safety risk to the residents of Shannonvale.
John Allman, another resident, attended a public meeting on the banks of the Argideen River on June 19th last and he told The Southern Star that the locals have run out of patience with both Irish Water and Cork County Council.
He said they are planning numerous ways in which to highlight the problem. They have prepared a short, sharp 90-second video that leaves the viewer in no doubt about the levels of frustration locally. The video was recently posted on the residents’ new website www.shannonvale.ie.
They believe it sends a clear message: ‘We have had enough of being ignored, and we are going to keep highlighting this situation until we get a satisfactory response.’
Cork South West Social Democrats TD Holly Cairns and Ind Cllr Paul Hayes have both visited the residents and are calling for immediate action as Irish Water, Cork County Council, and the EPA are aware of the situation.
‘This issue has been going on for years and it is disgraceful that it hasn’t been addressed,’ Deputy Cairns said.
‘The septic tank services several houses, but grey water and storm water is also directed into the plant which leads to overflowing,’ she explained.
‘The tank was supposed to be upgraded a few years ago, and other houses in the village are connected to the main plant for Clonakilty. The main tragedy is the beautiful green in the middle of the village can’t be used because of an overflowing sewage plant, which should never have been put there in the first place. It should be the heart of the village, but is currently unsafe for children to play in.’
Cllr Paul Hayes said that Irish Water must to prioritise this situation immediately.
‘It is an absolute disgrace that this natural amenity isn’t available to the local community. I remember going down there as a child. It used to be a great place to play by the river during the summer.’
‘The residents are deeply frustrated at a lack of progress for years,’ he added. ‘It’s very obvious that plans to rectify the long-standing sewage issue in Shannonvale have slipped down Irish Water’s list of priorities. Residents and community activists there are growing increasingly frustrated with this appalling situation, especially with the condition of the riverside park, which was a hub for community activities in the past.’