Ireland's farmers and public representatives are meeting to determine if limited infrastructure funds will be spent on rural projects throughout the country or on one "standout" 172 km water pipeline costing an estimated €1.2 billion.
The discussion pits Dublin against the rest of the country. "“The one comment that struck me very forcefully there was our rural plan, for all of Ireland, has been allocated €66m in the first instance versus €1 billion, and perhaps more for this project," said Eddie Punch, General Secretary of the Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers’ Association (ICSA) in Co. Tipperary.
Punch believes these state funds could be used more efficiently and support beneficial projects for rural Ireland.
Irish Water says without the pipeline Dublin will face water shortages within 10 years and described the project as "one of the most important projects in the history of the state."