Rosaleen Gallagher, a farmer who keeps sheep, horses and cattle in Kells in Co. Meath, has recently expressed her concern at the continued pollution of a stream on her land.
Rosaleen keeps the majority of her stock on the home farm in Kells, though she has horses grazing on lands near the Newrath stream in the county. The farmer says that the streams on her land fill up with sewage waste, comprised primarily of sanitary products or 'raggings'.
She has firmly laid the blame on the door of Irish Water and Meath County Council, who she says are passing over the responsibility of the spill. The farmer claims that Irish Water have told her in recent days that the problem is, in fact, a “historical” problem with the council and caused by misconnections of raw sewerage pipes into surface water drainage pipes which are discharged directly into the Newrath stream.
“Irish Water yesterday confirmed that they have no responsibility towards it…They have said it is a historic problem with Meath County Council.” Rosaleen said.
“They say there are misconnections of raw sewage into the surface water drainage pipes, which are discharged directly into the stream…Irish Water said that is a problem for Meath County Council, not Irish Water.”
The farmer said she has repeatedly called Meath County Council over the issue and has yet to even receive a response.
“I rang the council today, yesterday and the day before. I started at the top and rang everyone the whole way down.” Said the farmer.
“They are either not in, not at their desk or not available. I have asked to be called back and not one of them have even called me back.” She added.
The farmer had been told by representatives that she would be provided with drinking water for her stock, though they have yet to do so. This means that the farmers has to painstakingly carry the water supply for her animals down to the land every single day.
“It still hasn’t been given” said the farmer of the water supply.
“They expect me to carry food and water every day to the animals in that field and I am sixty-odd years of age.” She added.
The farmer claims the pollution has caused dreadful smells coming from the Newrath stream and is comprised mainly of sanitary products or ‘raggings’. She explained that there have been two recent incidents where the sewerage has overflowed onto her lands.
“Last Sunday evening at about 5'o clock there was another spill”. The farmer explained.
“It is disgusting.” She stated.