The Government has signalled its intent to go ahead with plans for the Shannon water pipeline.
Responding to criticism of the project by Tipperary TD Mattie McGrath, junior minister Malcolm Noonan told the Dáil that the pipeline is “strategically important” for the development of the country.
Deputy McGrath has labelled it a “fantasy project” after recent reports suggested that its estimated cost of €1.3 billion would likely be exceeded.
The project seeks to extract water from the Parteen Basin to supply the Greater Dublin region, as well as areas along the route.
Junior minister Noonan insists it’s vital that the project goes ahead.
“It’s strategically important for the future development of the country. We certainly can’t meet our housing needs and as was proven earlier on this year we had hosepipe bans.”
“I think it’s vitally important that we really do have a secure and safe supply and this does require looking at all options in terms of water service provision for the country.”