Top Broadway producer fights to stop sewage threat to Irish waters featured in “Game of Thrones”

Article is by Paddy Clancy @IrishCentral claims to be the largest Irish site in North America.

Top Broadway producer John Gore seeks to stop sewage dumped into Lough Foyle. Image: Paddy Clancy.

Top Broadway producer John Gore seeks to stop sewage dumped into Lough Foyle. Image: Paddy Clancy.

A top Broadway producer has joined a 30-year campaign to stop sewage pouring into the Irish waters over which the dragons fly in the TV series “Game of Thrones.”

John Gore, the owner of multi-billion dollar, the largest live entertainment company on the planet, is fuming at plans by Irish Water to construct a sewage treatment plant near his shore-side Irish holiday home and pipe the contents out into Lough Foyle.

Local residents in the Community for a Clean Estuary have been campaigning to get the scheme transferred a few kilometers north so the effluent can be piped into the Atlantic and away from Lough Foyle which is bordered by Northern Ireland and the Republic.

Irish Water says it will apply this year for permission to start the scheme on the Republic’s side at Carnagarve, outside Moville, Co. Donegal.

Carnagarve is an area of outstanding beauty, with about a dozen small beaches with pristine bathing conditions along four kilometers linked by a shoreside walk that runs between Moville and Greencastle.

Glenburnie beach adjacant to proposed sewerage discharge pipe location.

Glenburnie beach adjacant to proposed sewerage discharge pipe location.

Gore, who has been visiting the area for 15 years, recently bought a period house on land running to the water’s edge which he has been renovating as a holiday home.

He loves the beauty of the area, not far from Malin Head where part of Star Wars was filmed.

Across the Lough in Northern Ireland, he can see the site from which dragons flew in Game of Thrones.

Campaigners in the Republic insist that Irish Water should retain a scheme first approved by the local council in 1990 to construct the sewage plant on land near Greencastle with a discharge pipe running out to the Atlantic. The plan was, somehow, later changed. Officials opted instead to have a pipe discharging the sewage directly into Lough Foyle less than 300 meters from the shore.

Gore, whose Broadway stage productions won several Tony awards, says he is prepared to put millions of dollars of his own money into any litigation involved in saving the Lough from pollution.

He said: “If the Irish Water scheme goes ahead can you imagine what the smell would be like? Can you imagine what it would do to all those beaches? It would never be allowed anywhere else.

“Somehow, in 1990, the elected members of Donegal County Council voted unanimously for the scheme not to be in the Lough, but for it to be out at sea. We don’t see where the legal precedent is that enables that ruling to be changed, apart from the fact they kind of shoved it around.

“There seems to be no record that the council reversed the decision or changed it.”

Irish Water, created in 2013, has taken over all water and sewage facilities from local authorities which previously cared for them all around Ireland.

Gore added: “The way they are behaving here is outrageous. My holiday home is going to be seriously damaged by this situation.”

Campaigners John Gore, Dr Don McGinley and Enda Craig at the site where the outfall will carry sewage into Lough Foyle behind them. Image: Paddy Clancy.

Campaigners John Gore, Dr Don McGinley and Enda Craig at the site where the outfall will carry sewage into Lough Foyle behind them. Image: Paddy Clancy.

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.

One of Ireland’s greatest peace campaigners, John Hume, also lives in the area. Image:

One of Ireland’s greatest peace campaigners, John Hume, also lives in the area. Image:

Irish Water said it is lodging a planning application this year to develop a wastewater treatment plant at Carnagarve. It envisages planning, design and construction will take four years.

It added that the outfall pipeline will safely discharge the treated effluent 200 to 300 meters out into Lough Foyle.

Campaigners plan to seek a meeting with Irish Water chiefs and persuade them to return to the 1990 scheme.

Craig said if that fails they plan to raise a challenge on the ownership of the seabed. He claims Queen Elizabeth’s Crown Estate owns the seabed from the Northern Ireland side right up to the shore in Donegal.

He says the Irish authorities wrongly claim the seabed on the Donegal side is owned by the Agriculture Minister.

If talks fail, the campaign will register an injunction against Irish Water to produce evidence of ownership of the seabed.

A spokesperson for Crown Estate said in a statement that the exact location for the international boundary between Northern Ireland and the Republic remains an issue for determination between the UK and Irish governments.

The statement said that the Crown Estate has worked with relevant stakeholders, including the cross-border Loughs Agency, to help inform discussions about this issue.

It added: “Any planning decision regarding the Irish Water project would not be a matter for the Crown Estate, but would rest with the relevant planning and marine licensing authorities”


Brendan Ogle at Donegal Right2Water meeting, another view

by James Quigley

This is in response to Corinna Mc Callig’s version of a R2W meeting in Letterkenny on Monday 2nd August that appeared on her facebook the following day. It must be said that she stated that it was her opinion, however, I totally disagree with her interpretation of events, especially about believing it to be ‘a most positive meeting’.

Brendan Ogle, Unite, far left and Philip McFadden, SF, far right in 2015 in Brussels to support Lynn Boylan's Citizen Initiative.

Brendan Ogle, Unite, far left and Philip McFadden, SF, far right in 2015 in Brussels to support Lynn Boylan's Citizen Initiative.

She referred to me as ‘one of the men of Buncrana Together’ without giving any details about what I said or about the one question I asked.   That question to Mr Ogle concerned ‘Lynn Boylan’s, SF MEP, 2015 European Citizen’s Initiative which contained paragraph 92 that stated:

‘Calls on the Member States to introduce, in accordance with World Health Organisation guidelines, a pricing policy that respects people’s right to a minimum quantity of water for living and cracks down on waste, providing for the application of a progressive charge that is proportional to the amount of water used;’

I asked him did he or Righ2Water object to that paragraph at any time? Mr Ogle did not answer my question.

Mr Ogle brushed off Ms Boylan’s Citizen’s initiative saying that it had no legal standing and he agreed with a comment fromLiam Whyte, deputy Pringle's assistant, that it means nothing and to forget about it.

Thomas Pringles, TD, did respond to Michael Mooney’s question about the 9.4 Exemption and the R2W TDs claiming ‘Victory’ only on a draft report. As far as I am aware deputy Pringle’s response was the same as his radio interview on OceanFM.  However, Ms Mc Callig had a different interpretation.  I would like to know if Mr Pringle agrees with her when she said;

Pringle spoke about it, the R2W TDs on the committee, all 5 of them, tried to have it included and Fianna Fáil agreed so it was on the draft report but at the 11th hour Fine Gael phoned Fianna Fáil and threatened an election so Fianna Fáil turned coat which left only 5 TDs out of 20 voting to put the 9.4 in″

Ms Mc Callig later informed the meeting that she did not know the issues around 9.4 Exemption or the European Citizens Initiative and that she wanted to know where she could find the relevant documents.

One of Mr Ogle's most bizarre explanations came when he talked accusations that he called for an excessive use charge and again again by Steve Fitzpatrick in the Oireachtas Committee. He said that they were referring to a ‘Swimming Pool’ charge.

In the interest of clarity I have to admit that I arrived at 8.15pm. The venue was changed at the last minute from the Mount Errigal Hotel. Perhaps that accounted for the small crowd packed into a very tiny and stuffy room. The main and only speaker was Brendan Ogle and by the time I arrived he had started on his slide presentation. After his presentation Philip McFadden, SF, although not the chairperson directed proceedings. After a complaint about this,  it was confirmed that Charlie McDyer was in fact chairperson, however, Mr McFadden continued to direct things anyway.

Members of the audience were allowed three questions. The meeting finished at approx 10pm, inconclusively, in my opinion, and according to my sensibility, acrimoniously and without resolution; despite people agreeing with a woman called Anna Mae, who said that she had experience with conflict resolution and that what was happening tonight was positive. I can not agree that this meeting was positive nor a right setting for any conflict resolution, nor do I think a resolution can come about without reliable answers. These answers I may add, should have been given months ago,  if not years, especially by so called coordinators of a so called democratic organisation.

In a previous article in Buncrana Together I stated I was not going to attend this meeting. That changed due to the level of facebook abuse myself and Enda Craig received, not only from R2W Donegal members but nationally. It is ironical that quite a few times throughout the meeting Mr Ogle rebuked people for social media abuse. I wonder does he realise that he is responsible for most of it. He has not only joined in at times, abusing his position of power but also has not stopped his followers from using such abuse.  This meeting was no different.

Mr Ogle’s speech was full of threats, innuendo, misinformation, misdirection, falsehoods, condescension and of course a lot of the ‘poor me syndrome’.  It was boring but seemed to be effective with his captive audience.

One clever trick he pulled was while staring in my direction he referred to people spreading lies and said ‘like some in Buncrana something or other’. He didn’t have the decency to say the full tittle but brushed it off as ‘Something’.  I informed him later that the word he could not name was ‘Together’, as in Buncrana Together. However, that little trick set the tone of the evening and everyone was informed that I was one of those who he was referring to.

The format of Mr Ogle’s slide presentation reminded me of the the one he used in the past especially his treatment of Solidarity, formerly AAA, during R2C Conference in 2015.   Remember when he lied on video and had it up on the screen in black and white.  All stood idly by and said nothing. 

The format of his slideshow was

Headings - LIE 1, LIE 2, LIE 3 and each time he listed a fictional lie. This was followed by a bullet list of what positive things he said R2W did.  Each slide ended ‘WHO GAINS’. Who gains when R2W is attacked? Which side are you on?

I don’t know about you but that says to me ‘don’t criticise’, ‘don’t ask questions’, and if you do you are the enemy.



Brendan Ogle's upcoming talk in Donegal. Is it a coincidence or inquisition?

By James Quigley - on Brendan Ogle's upcoming talk in Donegal.

Donegal Daily July 26 2017

Donegal Daily July 26 2017


This is an exercise more like the same old controlled opposition that we have experienced for years, propaganda from unelected and self appointed leaders trying to kick-start what has been shown to be a power grab for political and personal reasons.

It is too much of a coincidence that Brendan Ogle decides to come, to the wilds of Donegal from Dublin in the midst of a R2W community revolt, a grassroots revolution trying to take back power from trade unions, political parties and personal agendas .

It seems more like a witchhunt and the Witchfinder General will come and breathe fire and brimstone on the dissident people who dared voice their opposition and opinions. He will also try to instill and bolster up the determination of his followers. It is a cynical exercise organised by undemocratic, corrupt R2W Ireland leadership in Donegal egged on by the undemocratic national leadership. After all they have done to control and mismanage a magnificent national campaign, how else can we look at it?

Now the excuse is that they did the best they could, that they had only 5 TDs on the controlled Oireachtas Committee and as such could not control the outcome. After the horse has bolted with not a word in the final draft report from that committee about the River Basin Management Plan and the 9.4 Exemption, after not a single criticism from the 5 TDs, after the shout of victory and Mr Ogle rejoicing about the outcome, now this psychopathic R2W Ireland leadership’ (never admit wrong), is latching on to the 9.4 and the RBMP for all it’s worth and unashamedly putting the onus on us to do what they should have done months if not years ago. March down the same old road again only for them to take the credit again.

I can recall Enda Craig last year writing a lot about the 9.4 Exemption in Buncrana Together. He even ventured on to R2W’s main website and the local ones in Donegal to ask them why they were not doing anything to highlight it. He got short shrift, nothing but abuse. Now they are all over it and trying to say they have been at it for years.

This exercise is the same old propaganda, modus operandi, hoodwink,  designed to keep the assumed leaders in power or protect their jobs for years to come whether union or political, a permanent opposition.  When all else fails blame the failure on the dissidents or that other Republican party Fianna Fáil.  It’s a bit like Northern Ireland, where Sinn Féin has attained a permanent opposition status with a sure call for a United Ireland.  Having agreed to the Good Friday Agreement they can safely say that their jobs are good for maybe 20 years.  Or the European Union that’s another good hunting ground.

Thank god I don’t have to go the talk show and listen to a tirade from someone who hoodwinked and controlled the water campaign, called for water charges, accepted metering, Irish Water Ltd and supported a minority Fianna Fáil Government. All while he said the opposite and getting paid to boot.

I would like to say ‘we haven’t gone away’. We will support the dissidents who seek democracy, truth and justice, community power.  We have witnessed our power so Mr Ogle and all political parties beware.