This site uses cookies to improve your experience and to provide services and advertising. By continuing to browse, you agree to the use of cookies described in our Cookies Policy. You may change your settings at any time but this may impact on the functionality of the site. To learn more see our Cookies Policy.
Dublin: 16 °C Sunday 22 September, 2019

Hogan says Fianna Fáil is frightening rural Ireland over septic tank charges

The proposed septic tank registration charge is causing controversy in rural Ireland which believes the measure is unfairly targeted at it.

Environment Minister Phil Hogan
Environment Minister Phil Hogan
Image: Sam Boal/Photocall Ireland

THE MINISTER FOR Environment Phil Hogan has accused the Fianna Fáil environment spokesperson Éamon Ó Cuiv of frightening rural Ireland amid a growing row over septic tank registration fees.

The government is introducing legislation requiring homeowners to register septic tanks at a cost of €50 per tank to allow for inspections to ensure the tanks comply with EU regulations on preventing contamination of ground water and subsequently drinking water.

Ireland currently faces fines over its failure to inspect or monitor septic tanks.

Opposition groups fear the measure unfairly targets rural Ireland and that there will be further cost incurred with having to carry out remedial works on septic tanks of which there are around 475,000 which will have to be registered next year.

Speaking on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland, Hogan insisted that he was “not introducing legislation because I want to but because I have to” and he accused the previous government of a “lack of will” with complying with the ruling of the European Court of Justice.

He said that once all tanks are registered, inspections will be carried out on a risk-based basis where they are close to water sources.

“All we want to know: is the tank working?” he said while admitting that the cost of any remedial work that is required will be incurred by the owner of the septic tank.

However, Ó Cuív said that the imposition of septic tank performance standards as applied by local authorities on a country-wide basis would mean huge expense for most houses, saying that up to €20,000 would have to spent on upgrading systems in some cases.

He said there had been no information about what the performance standards would be in the new legislation.

In a heated debate, Hogan accused Ó Cuív of frightening people: “You’re going around the country deputy frightening people for the last couple of months,” he said.

Yesterday, a meeting of Galway County Council was disrupted by protesters who are opposed to the plan and see it as unfair on rural dwellers. The Irish Times reports that around 400 protesters carried a toilet through the centre of Galway as part of a demonstration.

The legislation has also been subject of some heated debate in the Dáil chamber with independent Tipperary South TD Mattie McGrath saying last month that the measure would “frighten the life out of rural people and kill any initiative they have”.

He added: “We will turn them into nasty people and when they come to Dublin I know what they will have behind the tractors and the tanks, and I know where they will put it. I have set up a Facebook page called – excuse the language – Stop the Shite, but loads of shite will be coming to Dublin.”

Read: 440,000 septic tank owners to pay €50 inspection fee

  • Share on Facebook
  • Email this article

About the author:

Hugh O'Connell

Read next:


This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
write a comment

    Leave a commentcancel