Inis Mór family says sewage and poisonous gas are causing their health problems

Inis Mór family says sewage and poisonous gas are causing their health problems

A family in Inis Mór believes that the land where they live has been polluted by sewerage and is causing them health problems.

The family has appealed to Galway County Council, the EPA and Irish Water to come together to test the land but they fear that there is no resolution in sight unless the three authorities will work together to look at their case.

In an interview with Cóilín Ó Neachtain on Adhmhaidin on RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta on Thursday, they said that their problems go back as far as 1985, and that they fear that there is no resolution in sight unless the three authorities will work together to look at their case.

It is unclear to the family which authority is responsible for resolving the issue.

In an interview with Cóilín Ó Neachtain on RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta on Thursday, Cáit Tom Phaddy Uí Fhlatharta explained that, following a court case with Galway County Council in 2014, it was agreed that an integrated wetlands system would be put in place by the counci.

Instead, a raised bed system was put in and the family does not know why this change was made.

“We have no clarification on that … we didn’t even know what an integrated wetlands was, and when they started the work in 2015, we assumed that’s what they were putting in…

“In November last year, we saw water above ground and we thought it was just rain, but it wasn’t.

“In March this year I went down there, and there’s sewerage there and the smell and all the effluent … I think that’s why my health has been suffering, but of course we can’t prove that.”

Cáit said that the sewerage could be seen above ground, and that she feared that there was poisonous gas coming from it that was affecting her health.  She said that if no resolution was found, that the family would have to move.

“I’d like the EPA, the County Council and Irish Water to come together and to test the ground and the air around us here …  This brings to mind John Hanrahan in Tipperary in 1985 when all his cattle were dying, that’s what it reminds me of.

“I’m going to doctors for I don’t know how many years – It goes back to 2006 and I’m going to doctors since then and they can’t find anything wrong with me.”

Cáit’s husband Máirtín Jack Ó Flatharta said that he was livid at the situation and how his wife was suffering for the last five or six years.  He said they had contacted their public representatives to little avail.

“The EPA was supposed to come up from Cork to come out here two months ago, but when they heard that the media was looking into this they pulled back and we haven’t heard anything from them since.  There’s nobody to speak up for us … and it makes my blood boil.  We’re worried about going public with this … but I’m more worried about my wife, that’s my biggest fear at the moment.  It’s disgraceful [that we have to go public] but we just don’t know what else we can do.”

Cáit Tom Phaddy Uí Fhlatharta and her husband Máirtín were interviewed by Cóilín Ó Neachtain on Adhmhaidin on RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta on Thursday.

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