The plans for construction of a reservoir and eco park in Garyhinch Bog, County Offaly have potential but a great deal of consultation and analysis would need to be done before the project can advance, according to the chairman of the Oireachtas Committee on Environment, Transport, Culture and the Gaeltacht following a visit to the proposed locations.
Committee members visited the possible sites and received a thorough briefing from Bord na Mona officials on the project.
“While there is no doubt that there is a pending problem with water supply in the greater Dublin area, any use of water from the Shannon region in order to address this problem could only be done if environmental and sustainability considerations are satisfied,” comments Committee chairman, Ciaran Lynch. “The disruption caused to water supplies during last winter’s cold snap along with the likelihood of shortages during the summer highlight what a priority issue this is. The Committee intends to focus on this matter as part of its work programme and will return to the issue in the near future.”
Under the plans, put forward by Dublin City Council, the reservoir would supply 350 million litres of water a day to the Dublin region and serve the capital’s drinking water needs for 70 years. The project would also create a water based eco-park with fishing, boating, cycling water and leisure sports in the midlands. It is envisaged that 1,000 construction jobs would be created alongside a number of long term tourism and recreation jobs in the midlands.