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Landmark project to end decades-long sewage discharges in North Donegal

Soundbite - Michael Tinsley, Senior Portfolio Manager with Uisce Éireann

Uisce Éireann and Donegal County Council have turned the sod on a €50m investment in wastewater infrastructure for Ramelton, Milford and Rathmullan. This new sewerage scheme will finally bring to an end the decades-long practice of discharging raw or poorly treated sewage into Leannan Estuary, Lough Swilly and Maggie's Burn. This project will be critical in enabling the local communities to thrive by enhancing the local environment and supporting sustainable growth and development. 

The ceremony to mark the commencement of the works was led by Cathaoirleach of Donegal County Council, Councillor Liam Blaney. Also in attendance were representatives from Uisce Éireann and Donegal County Council, as well as representatives from the business community. 

Michael Tinsley, Senior Portfolio Manager with Uisce Éireann said: "It is really fantastic to be here in Donegal this morning as we officially mark the commencement of the Rathmullen, Milford and Ramelton Sewerage Scheme. This €50m investment will end the discharge of raw sewage from Ramelton and Rathmullen and significantly improve the standard of wastewater treatment in Milford."

"This is the largest single project Uisce Eireann has undertaken in Donegal to date and is critically important for the environment and to support social and economic development in this part of the county. It also marks another important milestone in our plan to eliminate the discharge of raw sewage nationwide."

"Along with our project management team in Donegal County Council and Jennings O'Donovan Consulting Engineers, we have worked closely with the local community and landowners whose cooperation has enabled this project to commence this year."

"This year alone we are starting €100m worth of wastewater projects in Donegal as we strive to deliver best in class wastewater services and infrastructure." 

Cathaoirleach of Donegal County Council, Councillor Liam Blaney continued: "I am delighted to be here today to witness this historic occasion. The project represents a significant investment by Uisce Éireann and is fundamental to the growth of our area. The provision of adequate wastewater infrastructure, not only for our existing population, but for our future growth, needs to be planned and implemented now, so that we are ready to meet the opportunities of the coming years. I'd like to thank Uisce Éireann and Donegal County Council and commend them for their hard work, to ensure the continuity of critical drinking water and wastewater services."

Toni Forrester, CEO of Letterkenny Chamber of Commerce, welcomed the improvements for local businesses, adding: "The provision of adequate wastewater services is an integral factor for local business. As Donegal continues to develop, local economic growth will be underpinned by the work already undertaken and by the work that continues to be delivered. It is important that the capital expenditure planned for Donegal continues to be implemented effectively in order to ensure our communities and businesses continue to thrive and we welcome the continued development of this key part of infrastructure by Uisce Éireann". 

Commenting at the event Chief Executive of Donegal County Council John G McLaughlin added: "I am delighted to be here today to officially turn the sod and mark the commencement of such a critical wastewater project for Donegal. The construction of the Ramelton, Milford and Rathmullan sewage scheme is vital for future growth and development. It will protect our environment and crucially, will provide the capacity we need for more homes and development in the region. I would like to commend all those involved in bringing the project to this important day and I would like to wish the project team well as they progress this vital wastewater project.

Murphy Ireland will be delivering the work on behalf of Uisce Éireann and are expected to be completed in 2025. 

Uisce Éireann's targeted programme of investment across Donegal in existing wastewater infrastructure is also reaping benefits for communities across the county. Most recently Uisce Éireann, started works as part of a €31 million investment to upgrade the wastewater infrastructure in Buncrana, Ballybofey and Stranorlar. In Kerrykeel, Kilcar and Burtonport works are progressing on schedule as part of a €20m investment to provide new wastewater treatment plants and associated infrastructure, ending the discharge of raw sewage into the environment. Furthermore, construction works to provide new wastewater infrastructure for the community of Coolatee commenced last month. This important project will eliminate the discharge of untreated wastewater into the Foyle and Deele Rivers. Uisce Éireann is also progressing plans as part of the delivery of state-of-the-art new wastewater treatment plants in Carrigart, Kilmacrennan and Mountcharles. 

Uisce Éireann is responsible for delivering public drinking water and wastewater services for the people of Ireland. We are committed to enabling communities to thrive by continuously upgrading and developing critical infrastructure to support sustainable growth and development, providing safe drinking water, and enhancing the environment. To find out more visit the Uisce Éireann website.

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