Following yesterday’s report by the EPA that the Avoca river is badly polluted, a Wicklow Councillor has hit out at successive governments for holding Arklow back.
Cllr. Pat Kennedy said, “I read the EPA’s report yesterday and I think there is nothing new in this in relation to the Avoca River.
The people of Arklow don’t need to be told the river is badly polluted, they have known this for years.
Successive governments have failed to make money available to treat the leachate coming from the Avoca Mines into what is the most important river in South Wicklow.
This is a salmonid river and the potential that it has for rural angling tourism must be realised. At some stage, somebody with senior political clout is going to have to stand up and say we need the money to put in place a purification system for the mines so that South Wicklow can reach its full tourism potential.
We have another issue with sewage in Arklow but the new sewage treatment plant is not going to be in place for another four years.
The government should be able to introduce emergency powers to fast forward the treatment plant so that raw sewage is not flowing into the river.
Arklow is stuck in limbo at the moment and cannot progress or expand like other towns throughout the land, everything is suffering, business, construction and tourism the town can’t grow.
If these measures were put in place at the Avoca Mines and in Arklow I have no doubt that the water quality would change in the river immediately and then we can plan forward so that the Avoca River can reach its full potential and be used for recreational purposes.”