Local campaigners brought their objections as far as the European Commission, the legislation-proposing arm of the European Union.
Now that Gore has joined the campaign, he is prepared to back the process of preventing sewage going into Lough Foyle “with millions if necessary.”
Locally-based Senator Pádraig Mac Lochlainn said after a recent information meeting that Irish Water was proposing the same controversial scheme that attracted community opposition for 30 years. “The definition of insanity is doing something over and over again and expecting a different outcome”, he said.
One of the campaign leaders, Enda Craig, reckons the original council decision in 1990 to operate a discharge pipe from Greencastle into the sea instead of the Lough, was overturned when parties with vested interests resorted to “uncalled for and unwanted political interference.”
Since then there was a series of studies and proposed news sites, as well as conflicts between campaigners and council officials in the courts and in the EU.
On one occasion the campaigners were advised by a top oceanographer in Singapore that a hydrodynamics study of the tidal flows by the council was inaccurate. Local fishermen gave similar advice.
Craig agreed there was a tremendous problem with raw sewage going into the Lough and Bredagh River from existing outlets in Moville, and demand for the location of a treatment plant was understandable, but the beautiful Carnagarve area was the wrong place for it.
Campaign committee member Don McGinley, a retired family doctor, who is a keen rower, said: “Lough Foyle is a recreational area for swimmers, rowers, kayakers, sailors and jet-skiers. It is not in the least desirable that the proposed discharge pipe lies directly on our training routes midway between Moville and Greencastle, adjacent to the traditional beach at Glenburnie and the Sli a Slainte designated coastal path.”
The proposed scheme is also close to the holiday home of one of Ireland’s greatest peace campaigners, John Hume, who was jointly awarded the 1998 Nobel Peace Prize.