There’s anger in Kilkee over the closure of the town’s beach at the height of the peak season.
An electrical fault at the wastewater pump station resulted in the discharge of wastewater into the sea “for a time” yesterday and water quality tests are now underway.
One businesswoman has said she’ll withhold her rates unless it’s sorted quickly.
Clare FM’s James Mulhall is in Kilkee:
Kilkee beach has been closed after an electrical fault at the local pumping station led the the discharge of raw sewage into the sea for a time overnight on Wednesday.
It comes just two months after a previous swimming ban was lifted – the beach was closed from December until May while works were being carried out to address similar issues.
Kilkee tourism consultant and businessman Cillian Murphy says this is just as serious, if not more than the five month closure.
Imelda Bourke runs The Pantry cafe in the centre of Kilkee and says this is her busiest week of the summer so far.
She’s demanding that something is done to address the situation quickly and has threatened to withhold her council rates if it drags on.
The beach will remained closed until at least tomorrow while work is carried out and Irish Water has apologised to beach goers for any inconvenience caused.
West Clare Fine Gael Councillor Gabriel Keating is confident that the water utility will resolve the issue within their promised 48 hours – and says that so far, it hasn’t affected visitor numbers.
Meanwhile, Irish Water says efforts are underway to prevent a similar incident in the future.
The plant is 40 years old and the utility says upgrade works have been underway since earlier this year, though the project is not yet complete, and more works have yet to be carried out.
Wastewater Lead for the Souther Region, Maurice Hourigan has been telling Clare FM’s Fiona Cahill how the issue arose: