This was sent to us as a Press Release by the Carnagarve Group.

An Open Letter Re Moville/Greencastle Waste Water Treatment Plant

In 1989 Donegal County Council proposed to combine the sewage loads of both Moville and Greencastle and then discharge, totally untreated, into the Foyle estuary in the town land of Carnagarve.

A full council meeting at Lifford in 1990 instructed the Water and Environment Section of the Donegal County Council to abandon this plan and to locate the plant and pipe, regardless of the level of treatment, outside the environs of the estuary. This was a unanimous decision carried by a vote of twelve to nil.

In 1996 uncalled for political intervention caused this site in the town land of Eleven Ballyboes to be abandoned and no explanation has ever been given for this decision. Further intervention caused a new site at the Mill to be abandoned in 2003.


The present site at Carnagarve, selected without a minute’s consultation with the local community in 2005, is not the answer to this urgent problem.

The shore walk (partly Sli na Slainte) with its pocket beaches of golden sand, pristine waters and beautiful views is Moville and Greencastle’s greatest and most valuable asset.

There is a health and feel good factor involved here that could not be quantified in financial terms not to mention the social interaction that is constantly on display between locals and visitors.

This is something that deserves total protection from all who benefit from its unique values.


Now consider what our long and detailed research has identified.

Donegal County Council stated that the discharge from the pipe would pose no danger to either the beaches or bathing waters or to people using the shore walk in general. In fact they produced an expensive report demonstrating the discharged effluent going out into the deep at all times.

Mr Mike Quinnell, Senior Oceanographer, using the exact same data, demonstrated in fact, the opposite. He proved a shoreward component on the ebb tide which would bring the discharged effluent ashore twice a day every day.

Add to that the scenario that this plant will be allowed to discharge untreated sewage a MINIMUM of three times a season and it becomes quite evident that you are looking at a potential environmental disaster and the wipe out of this community’s most precious and valuable asset for all time.

Possession of this information should have caused the Donegal County Council to introduce the precautionary principle and abandon the site forthwith. This did not happen.

Everyone Agrees

Everyone agrees that Moville and Greencastle are in urgent need of a proper waster water treatment plant but they must be careful that the price is not too high. We have always said THE RIGHT PLANT IN THE RIGHT PLACE.

Consider if Donegal County Council were successful with their plans at Carnagarve.

You find yourself walking towards Moville into a south-west wind (prevailing wind) and the spray coming off the rocks at high tide. The content of such a spray leaves little to the imagination.

Recently a visitor to the area pointed out that no mention has ever been made of the effluent being driven ashore by the wash from passing boats and ships.

Future generations will have plenty to say if this is allowed to go ahead.

Enda Craig – Spokesperson for Community For A Clean Estuary.