Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture Senator Pippa Hackett met with farmers in Duncannon, Co Wexford, on Wednesday to congratulate them for their actions taken to safeguard the quality of waterways in the area.
The actions were undertaken as part of the Duncannon innovation project, a Department of Agriculture-funded initiative run in conjunction with Wexford County Council.
Speaking at the meeting, Minister Hackett voiced her appreciation of the farmers’ efforts over the last number of years.
“I am really proud of the contribution made by both the farmers and my department to improving the bacterial quality of the two coastal streams that flow on to the beach here,” the minister said.
“While sewage was a factor in Duncannon beach losing its blue flag in 2007, nutrients and sediments from agricultural use were issues too,” she stated.
“To date, the project has helped to reduce the amount of bacterial contamination in the water in the area and we hope this collaborative approach continues into the future," commented Wexford County Council chief executive Tom Enright.
“I know it is not yet finished, but the collaborative approach is showing great results and I am quite sure Duncannon can look forward to the restoration of its blue flag status in the not-too-distant future,” Minister Hackett finished.
“The success of the EIP programme to date is attributable to the collaborative approach that has been taken by the main stakeholders, working directly with farmers in the community for the good of both the local community and the greater environment,” added Enright.
Irish Water has planned a municipal wastewater treatment system for the area in 2021, as the improvements in farm water quality has allowed for the identification of non-agricultural contamination sources.