Wednesday, 31 March 1993
Seanad Éireann Debate
Ms Kelly: I would like to ask the Minister for the Environment to make a speedy decision to fund what is known as the Hill group water supply in the general west Limerick area. Group water supply schemes are two a penny and even in County Limerick we have many demands for funding for various group schemes but this one is of particular importance because of the nature of the ground water that is available to people.
Wells are difficult to bore in the area. When one is successful in boring a well one finds that there is a high concentration of iron pyrites in the water. If one uses surface water, for example, by tapping streams, the water tends to be high in acidity. The iron pyrites and the acidity content of the water that is already available make it unsuitable for use in backboilers, washing machines etc. For that reason it is important that people in this community have a decent water supply and that is available from the town of Abbeyfeale. All that is needed is a reservoir and pumping station to bring it up to the level of the Hill or Dromtrosna area. If the reservoir were put in place it would also ensure that communities in other areas in west Limerick such as Tournafulla and Mountcollins would have a better water supply. This group  water supply scheme is for the benefit of not one, but three different communities. Speedy action is needed because of the poor quality of the ground water supply.
Mr. Neville: I would like to raise with the Minister for Justice, through the Leader of the House, the recent suicide in Wheatfield Prison. We should express our regret and send our sympathy to the family of the bereaved. I call on the Minister and the Government to introduce suicide prevention strategies in prisons as recommended in the 1991 Report of the Advisory Committee on Prison Deaths. As a matter of urgency I believe the Government should improve psychological services for prisoners, allow the Samaritans access to prisoners, review the system of special observation lists of prisoners considered at risk of suicide and improve the assessment of prisoners when they are first committed. People are 16 times more likely to die in prison than in the community. Twenty people have committed suidice in Irish prisons over the past fve years. One of the main problems which is causing great difficulties in our prisons is drug usage and related problems. Resources should be made available to adequately deal with the health problems of drug abusers and to eliminate drugs from our prisons.
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