Tag Archives: golf

Watering Dublin

Someone asked me recently about the progress of the scheme to supply Dublin with water from the Shannon. I had to confess that I haven’t been keeping up with the matter, because I don’t think it’s very important, but happily KildareStreet.com has provided an update. On Tuesday 16 July 2013 one of the Sinn Féin chappies, Brian Stanley of Laois-Offaly, asked a priority question:

54. To ask the Minister for Environment, Community and Local Government the progress being made on the Dublin, Garryhinch, Shannon water supply project; and the timeframe for planning, construction and completion phases of this project.

I suspect that most folk think of the scheme as one involving Dublin and the Shannon, so that the inclusion of Garryhinch may have been puzzling. It seems that Garryhinch is on the road from Portarlington to Mountmellick, just after that nasty bend where folk go to commit golf.

And Mr Stanley is interested not because he wants Garryhinch, Portarlington Golf Club, or indeed Portarlington and Mountmellick to be flooded but because he wants his constituents to be employed digging a hole in the ground there (a bit like the Clones Sheugh, really) and working in a water-based ecopark that will include a reservoir where the Shannon’s water will be stored.

Anyway, Fergus O’Dowd [FG, Louth], who is a Minister of State for something, replied:

The Dublin water supply scheme long-term water source is listed as a scheme at planning stage in my Department’s water services investment programme 2010 to 2013. Dublin City Council is the lead authority for this scheme, on behalf of all of the water services authorities in the greater Dublin area.

Studies carried out for the city council and a strategic environmental assessment have identified a preferred option which involves abstraction of raw water from Lough Derg and pumping the abstracted water through a new pipeline to a proposed storage reservoir at Garryhinch cut-away bog in County Offaly, forming part of a proposed midlands water-based eco-park. After treatment, water would then be conveyed to the west of Dublin where the new supply would be integrated with the existing storage and trunk distribution system.

In December 2012, the Department approved a brief for the engagement of consultants for the planning and statutory approval phase of the scheme. Dublin City Council has carried out a procurement process and I understand it will shortly be in a position to appoint a consultant to advance the further planning of this scheme.

The programme for project implementation has been developed based on the planning and statutory approval phase taking approximately two years. The detailed design and procurement phase should take a further two years, while the construction and commissioning phase should be completed in three years.

Following their appointment by Dublin City Council, the consultants will undertake the environmental impact statement and other statutory requirements in preparation for a submission to An Bord Pleanála which will adjudicate on the matter.

He forgot to mention “best practice”, so he’s lost some brownie points. Mr Stanley wanted it all to happen much faster, to be completed before 2021, but the discussion provided no more useful information. Bord na Móna has some more information about the eco-park here. All good stuff, much as I suggested for Lough Oughter, but I’d lose the eco title: eco stuff is so last millennium.

Committing golf

What is the World Corporate Golf Challenge? And why is Waterways Ireland sponsoring it?

Or is it?

Google found about ten mentions of an event called the “Irish qualifier” for the “Waterways Ireland World Corporate Golf Challenge” including this one from the NI Chamber of Commerce, which you might expect to have better things to do with its time. However, despite what some sites suggest, I suspect that (unless it has lost its penkas completely) WI is sponsoring only the “Irish qualifier” and not the entire worldwide event. WI’s website search engine returns no relevant information.

The World Corporate Golf Challenge (I’m already reaching for the sickbag) doesn’t seem to have heard of Ireland (or of Waterways Ireland), although it lists Northern Ireland as a participating country. So is this an “Irish qualifier” or a “Northern Irish qualifier”?

The WCGC, whose website tells us where the 2010 final will take place,  seems to work by licensing organisations to run local competitions. The Northern Ireland licence is held by Lough Erne Resort, where the 2012 “Irish qualifier” will be held on 25 September; it has delegated the organising of the event to Posnett Golf, which will have a special offer but doesn’t yet know what it is. The resort was placed in administration in May 2011 and may now be for sale.

But why is WI sponsoring this event? It’s just going to attract a pack of Nigels and Patricks who, on a Tuesday, should have their feet under their desks saving the Northern Ireland economy. And all of them have already, I suspect, heard of Lough Erne, and of golf, so I don’t see what WI expects to gain from this.

Incidentally, have you ever noticed that golf is essentially a less exciting variant of Eeyore’s game?

But Eeyore wasn’t listening. He was taking the balloon out, and putting it back again, as happy as could be ….