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Why Must We Go to Prison for the Safety of their Families?

category limerick | environment | feature author Wednesday June 07, 2006 00:03author by christina Report this post to the editors

A Community Fights to Keep its Clean Water Safe from the System

featured image
A Community concerned for its Safety

On a weekend which marked the first anniversary of the Rossport Camp, other communities in Ireland are finding themselves forced into similar positions of standing up for their own safety, as well as protection of natural resources from what claims to be their government.

In Co. Limerick, the communities of Kildimo and Pallaskenry are fighting for the retention of their Spring Water source and supply from Bleach Lough lake, while Limerick County Council want to connect them to a new water supply ... the polluted, yes POLLUTED River Deel
- Articles expressing solidarity with a Co. Cork community facing state environmental threat.

Supporters of the Bleach Lough Water Retention Committee met late Sunday afternoon with TD Joe Higgins in a bid to prevent 11 members of the local community from going to jail, and they are calling on Dick Roche, Minister for the Environment to intervene on the side of justice and democracy.
Why the 11 won't be cowed by prison threats, and will see it through if forced to, for the safety of their community.

Other Related Links
A Co. Dublin community's fears for safety
East Galway concerns about water pollution
Incinerators set for Ringaskiddy and Duleek, and maybe, Ringsend or Donabate.

Supporters of the Bleach Lough Water Retention Committee met late Sunday afternoon with TD Joe Higgins in a bit to prevent 11 members of the local community from going to jail.

As previously reported Limerick County Council is threatening locals with jail for their ongoing peaceful protest against the new Deel Water Supply.

Members of the support group have expressed their concern in an open letter to Minister of Environment / Heritage & Local Government Mr. Dick Roche TD.

Joe Higgins will personally hand over the letter to the Minister of Environment. Supporters are seeking immediate intervention from the Minister and hope that a resolution can be found.

Related Link: http://www.indymedia.ie/article/76359

Joe Higgins TD on the White Line, Sunday 4th June 2006
Joe Higgins TD on the White Line, Sunday 4th June 2006

author by christinapublication date Mon Jun 05, 2006 03:17author address author phone Report this post to the editors

just a few more pics from the line

Independent MEP Kathy Sinnott with locals on the "white line"
Independent MEP Kathy Sinnott with locals on the "white line"

Kathy Sinnott talking to young protestors
Kathy Sinnott talking to young protestors

more local supporters
more local supporters

Katthy Sinnott supporting the locals
Katthy Sinnott supporting the locals

author by Niall - Rossport Solidarity Camppublication date Mon Jun 05, 2006 11:36author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Are you going to publish the letter on indymedia?

Support on the way from Rossport, click below.

Related Link: http://www.indymedia.ie/article/76399&comment_limit=0&condense_comments=false#comment152336
author by bcounted1 - anti pylons grouppublication date Thu Jun 08, 2006 00:03author address author phone Report this post to the editors

We wish the Pallaskenry and Bantry groups the best of luck with their campaigns, local people have got to stand up for the truth and be counted. Afterall this is what Agenda 21 and the 1997 European Directives are all about-- involve the locals in what concerns them. They are after all the ones with the indepth knowledge of their area and know whats best for themselves and their communities. The ESB have no right to attempt to take peoples private property away from them, and destroy it, they need a Deed of Easement before they can build pylons/poles on your private lands and they require the landowner to voluntarily sign this for them.

Related Link: http://www.energy-matters-amp.com
author by cybspipublication date Thu Jun 08, 2006 01:06author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I don't dispute your comments re ESB, but both sides of the Bleach Lough story should be recognised. People from outside the locality may not be aware, but the few people protesting are stopping the supply of drinkable water for the rest of us. Not everyone in the area supports the cause, and it is laughable to see people not even from the area coming about and sticking their noses in without knowing all the facts. Many of us are more than anxious to receive the water from the Deel - once it comes we will finally have water which we can use to shower in, brush our teeth with and finally be able to drink straight from the tap instead of having to purchase the water. Our current water supply is so poor we've barely had water in the taps these last few days and all this could be sorted if these protesters got out of the way and allowed the Council to do their job. Water is a human right and the protesters are denying this right to a sizeable community.

author by Niall Harnettpublication date Thu Jun 08, 2006 01:23author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Below is a picture of Colm Morrissey, Executive Engineer with Limerick County Council, doing the dirty work on behalf of his masters hidden away inside the Co. Council Offices in Limerick, and issuing high court injunctions and word of committal orders being sought against the residents of Pallaskenry.

I got a call from Colm Morrissey earlier today asking me to withdraw a remark I made about him in this previous article: http://www.indymedia.ie/article/76464 , where I described him in a photo caption as a 'mumbling' official.

He had come to Pallaskenry last Wednesday afternoon to issue notice that Limerick Co. Co. were going to the high court the next day, Thursday 1st June, to apply for an injunction against 7 named individuals who were 'walking the line'. This application was subsequently granted and Limerick Co. Co. are now considering applying to high court for committal (jail) orders against those who are 'injuncted'.

When Colm Morrissey came with these notices he stood in front of the protesters at the white line and mumbled inaudibly about what he was there to do. The words 'notice', 'posting' and 'injunction' were barely heard and he was asked to speak clearly, repeat himself and answer some questions. Again, he grunted, "I don't have to answer your questions".

The 'Local Agenda 21' consultation principle of 'local people governing local resources' was invoked to remind him of his obligation to engage and consult with local residents in a democratic decision making process. He simply ignored questions and requests to engage, while continuing to stick up his notices. Then he legged it.

Getting back to his phone call ... He complained to me about my use of the word 'mumbling'. He said he had been reading the Indymedia editorial guidelines and said I was 'playing the player and not the ball'. He asked me was there a way to complain about this. I said "Yes, use the 'contact us' tab to contact the editorial team or 'add a comment' ". I told him to make an argument against my use of the word 'mumbling' and said that I would be making a counter-argument to keep it in. He said "Oh, I don't think I'll do that, I'll only be adding fuel the fire"!

He also claimed to be 'just doing my job ... just doing what my boss tells me'

I suggested he'd be better off having this conversation with his boss rather than being happy to be used as an instrument in the jailing of those he is supposed to be serving.

Colm Morrissey ... it is your own behaviour that shames you, not my description of it.

Colm Morrissey ... when the men, women and children of Pallaskenry are frightened with worry at the prospect of prison for themselves or their loved ones, and you running to the high court to tell tales for their committal, how dare you feel sorry for yourself when your own despicable behaviour indicts you and when the words from your own mouth judge you.

And you think you have something to complain about.
And you think you have something to complain about.

No further.
No further.

Send in the army if you want.
Send in the army if you want.

Related Link: http://www.indymedia.ie/article/76464
author by Seán Ryanpublication date Thu Jun 08, 2006 15:29author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Note: Comment amended to remove some curse words retracted by request of author. -Ed

I see some officials are getting upset about how we portray them.

Keep reading folks, tis only beginning. Your rhetoric and threats will all be exposed.

I have a little booklet titled 'Irish Water.' It was published by the Heritage Council. It is printed on 100% recycled paper. Their telephone no. is 056-7770777, their Email addy is mail@heritagecouncil.ie and their website addy is http://www.heritagecouncil.ie

When I open the cover of this booklet, I'm struck by the slogan printed on the top righthand corner of the first page.

"Water is not
a commercial product
but a heritage
which must be protected
defended and
valued
"

On page 5 we have a section titled 'Quality.'

"Local authorities operate treatment works to ensure
that the water supply is of high quality. The cost of
water treatment is greatly increased if the water
comes from a river or lake that has been polluted by
nutrients that have caused an increase in growth of
microscopic plants
."

On page 7.

"Aims

* To maintain the 'high status' of water where it exists
* To prevent any deterioration in the existing status of water
* To achieve at least 'good status' for all water by 2015

Targets

* The provision of enough good quality surface water and groundwater for sustainable, balanced and fair water use
* A significant reduction in pollution of groundwater
* The protection of territorial and marine waters
* Achieving the objectives of relevant international agreements

Principles

* Precaution - where there are serious risks of serious or irreversible damage, lack of scientific certainty should not be used as a reason to postpone cost-effective measures to prevent degradation.
* Polluter pays - those who cause pollution must pay for its effects, both by finding ways to avoid further pollution and by covering the costs of the restoration of water quality
* Putting a real value on water - member states must use water-pricing policies that provide adequate incentives for users to use water resources efficiently

The Water Framework Directive is innovative in that it requires that water be managed in an integrated way. The full text of the Directive is available on http://www.wfdireland.ie"

A very nice booklet indeed. Well done the Heritage Council.

Now where are the Heritage Council with regard to the peoples of Kildimo and Pallaskenry?

author by Michellepublication date Thu Jun 08, 2006 16:41author address author phone Report this post to the editors

To me it seems bizzare that Limerick County Council are adamant on connecting these two villages to the Deel River Water Supply. The old saying 'if it's not broken don't fix it' appears apt here. We live in a beautiful island surrounded by seas, an island know for its beautiful lakes and fishing in which we attract tourists, for friendly and easy going personalities.

LImerick County Council wake up, stop pulling publicity stunts, and listen to the people of Pallaskenry and Kildimo. The use of tax payers money in abusing the court and judicial system of this country to force this issue on peaceful protestors is immoral and unethical in my opinion. After all the County Council are there to represent and support the opinions and views of people living in the area which includes Kildimo and Pallaskenry.

Abusing your power in that regard, using intimidating and bullying tactics is not a council I wish to have representing me.

To the County Manager in particualar, You must not let this emerge like the Ross Port Five situation and have medication enforced upon you. It is your responsibility to act in the position you are employed and end this protest in a peaceful and respectful manner which it what is expected of you.

author by Jacqueline Condon-McCarthypublication date Fri Jun 09, 2006 01:21author address author phone Report this post to the editors

People Outside the community may not be aware of the TRUE AND CORRECT facts. That being Pallaskenry/Kildimo protests about DEEL water being forced on them has in no way resulted in others not being connected to the river Deel. The pipes are there for a long time, It is the county council’s decision not to connect Kilcornan to the existing Shannon Estuary Scheme. It is my family and my neighbours who will be forced to buy bottled water until the end of time if the river Deel water comes through our taps replacing our healthy spring water that our community have enjoyed for over 50 years.

Post Script: The 25 houses who have been suffering the results of poor quality, polluted water in Kilcornan for almost 15 years could have been connected to our bleach lough scheme years ago with the laying of a few miles of pipe by the County Council.

A special word of gratitude is due to all those who have travelled long distances to support us. They have sustained us in our struggle.

author by Ann Crosbiepublication date Fri Jun 09, 2006 21:06author address author phone Report this post to the editors

With reference to the comment made by Ms Condon-McCarthy when she stated that, " The 25 houses who have been suffering the results of poor quality, polluted water in Kilcornan for almost 15 years" , I wish to point out that in addition to the Kilcornan Group Water Scheme and the Ballyshonick Group Water Scheme, the Kilcornan Community Council are firmly on the record as being fully in support of the completion of the Shannon Estuary Scheme. Within these groups there is far in excess of 25 houses suffering from "poor quality polluted water" . Kilcornan National School which currently has its own well and has suffered from contamination over the years is also awaiting the completion of the Scheme in order that it might have a reliable, modern water supply.

author by Niall Harnettpublication date Sat Jun 10, 2006 17:37author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Yesterday Friday 10th June, Limerick County Council sought and were granted committal orders against 5 individuals who, late yesterday evening, were summonsed to appear in the High Court in Dublin at 11am this coming Monday morning June 12th.

On the back of a restraining order granted to Limerick County Council on Thursday 1st June last against 7 named protesters and 'their servants or agents or any person having notice of the order', Limerick Co. Co. attempted to continue work last Wednesday 10th June on the polluted river Deel water pipeline. They were prevented from doing so by local residents and their supporters who have been 'walking the line' now for some time in order to retain their current Bleach Lough Spring Water supply.

Under instruction from Limerick County Council's Director of Transportation and Water Services Paul Crowe and 'other senior management staff' who have been taking advice from and giving instruction to Leahy Solicitiors of Limerick, Executive Engineer Colm Morrissey has been taking photos, swearing affidavits and telling tales to the high court 'against 5 individuals identified as having obstructed our contractor'.

The 5 include 3 of the original 7 injuncted local residents - Donal O'Brien, Tom Clarke and Orla Kaiser and 2 of their supporters - Pat Culhane and Fianna Fáil Councillor Noreen Ryan.

Full report from Pallaskenry later on Indymedia.

Limerick County Council legal business - Stickers on a court order.
Limerick County Council legal business - Stickers on a court order.

Bleach Lough - When did you ever see lake water as clean and clear as this?
Bleach Lough - When did you ever see lake water as clean and clear as this?

Taken right from beside the pump ...
Taken right from beside the pump ...

... Patsy Gleeson, myself and others enjoy the Spring Water.
... Patsy Gleeson, myself and others enjoy the Spring Water.

Enough for everyone - locals say this pump, in only 3 feet of water, has never run dry.
Enough for everyone - locals say this pump, in only 3 feet of water, has never run dry.

Related Link: http://www.indymedia.ie/article/76531
author by cybspipublication date Sat Jun 10, 2006 20:14author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I refer to the comment by Niall re. photos take by a council engineer of the protesters - surely if photos were required all the council would have to do is look on this website!

author by Les Brainpublication date Mon Jun 12, 2006 20:33author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Please look at the state of the Kilmacat plant and compare with the Shannon Estuary Scheme and decide which plant can serve the greater community into the future

There is no comparison
There is no comparison

author by Seán Ryanpublication date Tue Jun 13, 2006 00:34author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I take it that Limerick County Council are responsible for the condition of the Bleach Lough 'water treatment' facility in the picture above.

It seems to me that this is the quality of their work in general.

I wonder, would it be more expensive to upgrade the above disgrace, as opposed to the laying of miles of pipework, treating heavily polluted water, and threatening those whom the council are mandated to serve?

But I spose there's money in Springwater.

The natural resources of Ireland should serve the people first and pockets afterwards if appropriate (and they should be the pockets of citizens, not tax avoiding, anti-democratic dictators).

Why not tell us why you want the Spring Water LCC?

15 years and counting, counting on no answers, counting on no service. Your days of abuse are numbered.

Orla defies Court Order and vows to continue to do so! http://www.indymedia.ie/article/76583

author by Jaydepublication date Wed Jun 21, 2006 12:05author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I am from Sydney’s Northern Beaches. I am aware that I am an outsider commenting on this issue and educated on the issue only through the reports from the Limerick Post and Indymedia. However, I still feel compelled to ‘stick my nose in’ (as ‘cybspi’ has accused others of doing) considering that my friend Orla Kaiser is facing jail for making a firm stand against the Limerick Councils decision.

This decision, that Orla opposes so strongly, enforces a change in the water supply from the Bleach Lough Spring to the River Deel for Pallaskenry and Kildmo residents. The Limerick Council has justified its decision for the following reasons:
• The Lough does not have the capacity to sustain local development.
• It is currently hindering the granting of new planning permissions in the area.
• The lake is susceptible to pollution.
• Some group water schemes on individual sources have had very bad contaminations over the past number of years.
(Published in the Limerick Post 12th January 2006 the full article available on: http://www.limerickpost.ie/dailynews.elive?id=7019&cate...y-Thu)

The Limerick Council’s arguments have been counteracted by the Bleach Lough Water Retention Committee:
• Why does the council need to pull households off their existing water supply because they want to develop the area? Dan Foley (secretary of the Bleach Lough Water Retention Committee) states ‘We have an abundance of water supply from the lake, which will sustain any future developments.’ (Published in the Limerick Post 12th January 2006 the full article available on: http://www.limerickpost.ie/dailynews.elive?id=7019&cate...y-Thu)
• The third point made by the council is counteracted by Dan Foley’s statement that ‘Bleach Lough Spring has only been polluted once in 50 years,’ which is far less than the Deel River Water supply (Published in the Limerick Post 12th January 2006 the full article available on: http://www.limerickpost.ie/dailynews.elive?id=7019&cate...y-Thu)
• The fourth point was also addressed by Dan Foley ‘The Council has also stated in the past that the Loughs water quality is very good with no evidence of pollution or enrichment.’ (Published in the Limerick Post 12th January 2006 the full article available on: http://www.limerickpost.ie/dailynews.elive?id=7019&cate...y-Thu)
It is clear the Bleach Lough Water Retention Committee do not want the polluted water from the Deel River to replace their clean water from Bleach Lough Spring.

As for ‘cybspi, Jacqueline Condon-McCarthy and Ann Crosbie comments’ I think that it is deplorable that you do not have enough water in your taps ‘to shower in, brush our teeth with and that you have had to purchase the water to drink.’ (Comments on http://www.indymedia.ie/article/76451) However, why should you have the polluted water the Deel River when potentially the council could connect you to the unpolluted water supply from Bleach Lough Spring?

In Sydney, we are currently faced with water shortage, which is understandable considering we have officially been in a drought since the early nineties (Ref: http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/drought/livedrought.shtml). Subsequently, we have had to employ alternative measures to collect water. Warringah Council (my local council) now considers it compulsory for new developments to be equipped with water tanks to collect rain water that falls on the roofs of houses (Ref:http://www.sydneywater.com.au/SavingWater/RainwaterTanks/). The government even offers rebates if people install water tanks on their suburban properties. These water tanks are designed to facilitate flushing toilets, watering machines, the washing of cars and the watering of gardens basically everything but drinking water. I was curious to know if the Limerick Council have considered something like this? As I understand they have not liaised with the Pallaskenry and Kildmo communities on their decisions to change the water supplies. But if the council’s primary concern is that the Bleach Lough Spring is unable to sustain the surrounding developing community have they considered the possibility of water tanks in the future developed areas? That way the developments of the future will not have to be faced with polluted water, but they will have water, unlike the unfortunate circumstances ‘cybspi, Jacqueline Condon-McCarthy and Ann Crosbie comments’ have described. After all, Ireland enjoys a much higher rainfall than Australia, especially the West Coast of Ireland, thus water tanks for the newly developed areas and the areas that are yet to be connected to any water supply could provide a solution to the difficulty the residents and future residence face.

Orla, as your friend I would like you to know, I will support you in any future decision that you make.

author by Terencepublication date Wed Jun 21, 2006 12:28author address author phone Report this post to the editors

From the above comment Jayde has said that Limerick council have given a number of decisions for why they want to press ahead and the most important one and for which I was not aware of till now is:


• It is currently hindering the granting of new planning permissions in the area.


In other words this is all about property development. Obviously there are developers pushing the council to get this through otherwise they won't be able to 'open' up the area to property development as presumably according to the engineers development cannot preceed until the area is hooked up to the mains water supply. So now the big question is who on the council are behind this and who is behind them. Who stands to benefit. What politicians or councillors have received monies for 'election' expenses.

Jayde, just for your FYI, there is a booming property bubble in Ireland and it is extremely damaging to this country in terms of the social effects and on the environment. The damm thing is like a cancer spreading through the body, sucking and diverting resources and establishing growths in totally inapprorpiate areas. Its contributing heavily to urban sprawl, and continuing the pattern of developement which results in people having to drive an awful lot just as the world is right at Peak Oil. Its unsustainable but there is a fair amount of people making a lot of money out of this fiasco.

author by anonpublication date Wed Jun 21, 2006 20:40author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I reckon the water that needs less treatment.

author by Maura Harrington - shell to Sea; Davitt Leaguepublication date Thu Jun 22, 2006 18:19author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Have just heard the outcome of today's High Court proceedings -congrats and well done to all involved.
It is disgusting that the 'shits in suit' still refuse to acknowledge the rights, concerns and consultative requirements of decent people living in organic communities all over the country but it is heartening to see so many who give of their collective time and energies to preserve a quality of life to pass on to succeeding generations.
Well done again. Beir bua.

author by Kenneth - Residentpublication date Mon Jul 03, 2006 23:52author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Treatment plants do not supply drinking water, Rivers and Lakes do. The best of all water is naturally supplied by underground springs, which is the water that passes through Bleach Lough Treatment Plant. The Shannon Estuary Scheme Treatment plant employs all modern technology in an attempt to purify the water from the river Deel. Unfortunitely, it fails pityfully. This is one of the major worries of the people of Kildimo and Pallaskenry . The appearance and condition of Bleach Lough Treatment Plant is entirely due to the complete lack of maintenance by Limerick County Council for the past 20 Years. It too would be in mint condition if Limerick County Council spent the money it should have on the Bleach Lough Treatment Plant.

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