Water hopes for 24 homes in Keenagh dashed

TWENTY-FOUR households on the Keenagh/Letterbrick water scheme remain in limbo as they can't get a new water connection as the cost per unit has been deemed too high.

Mayo County Council applied for funding for the proposed new group water scheme which would be an extension of the Nephin Valley scheme.

The estimated cost was €469,000 based on 24 domestic house connections. The unit cost per house was €19,542.

Funding of €422,100 was sought as the scheme would also have to be funded by a local contribution.

The normal grant aid from the department is €7,650 (85%), with €1,350 per house (15%) from local contributions.

There is supplemental funding available if a scheme satisfies certain criteria. This scheme did but the department considered the unit cost of €19,542 was too high and did not allocate any funding.

Michael McDermott, senior engineer, rural water office, told a Castlebar Municipal District meeting the network was very long – 6.5 kilometres – and there was a 3k connection to Nephin Valley.

Councillor Michael Kilcoyne was disappointed the department would not increase the funding so these people could get water. A local isolated group like this was a special case.

Councillor Blackie Gavin said it was hard to believe that in 2019 there are 24 houses in Keenagh without water. Sinking wells was, he said, a thing of the past. They should be connected to the Nephin scheme and he didn't care how much it cost.

He proposed the report before them be sent to the department for further clarification.

In response to his query about connecting to Keenagh Beg, Councillor Martin McLoughlin was told it would not have a huge difference in the unit price.

Again expressing his total disappointment that people were left in this situation, Councillor Kilcoyne commented: "If the ESB took the same view they would be without light too."

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