Irish Press. 15. 7. 1961.
The Cork-Youghal road is reputed is reputed to be the second busiest thoroughfare in the Republic of Ireland. But no matter what type of traveller you may be, you cannot fail to notice a range of hills running parallel to that roadway. If you are lucky enough to turn north-east at Midleton, and head for Tallow, you will not be long off the main road before you are in the hills, in beautiful countryside noted for its glens and it’s fox-hunting.
Having passed through Dungourney of All-Ireland fame, you need only travel two miles further northwards before you come to Clonmult.
Due to its proximity to Dungourney, Clonmult had always been integrated with the larger village. But a change occurred a few years ago when a group was appointed in Clonmult to carry out a canvass with a view to obtaining rural electrification in the area. This group was a forerunner of a Muintir na Tire guild-whose purpose was to provide the particular needs of the Clonmult community.
During its first year the guild worked with quiet efficiency towards two objectives-a community centre and a water supply. With the encouragement and the help of their parish priest, V. Rev. W. M. Egan, the parish council set about renovating a disused building. Their Dramatic and Choral Society raised the funds and voluntary labour did the rest. The interior of the building has been transformed and the centre is now an attractive and comfortable place for classes and social events.
But even last year while this job engaged them, the council was seeking information on group water schemes. Not that many people in Ireland knew of them just then. However, the guild of Kilworth – 15 miles away – knew a lot about them as their chairman, Dr. Sean Flynn, had already begun on such a scheme.
So Clonmult got moving. The district around the village was canvassed. The people collected data about each household, and on the various types of stock which would require water. Applications for grants were then made to the Department of Local Government and to the Cork County Council, and each promised to pay one third of the entire costs, up to a ceiling of 50 pounds each per household – when the scheme had been completed.
Soon the special inspector from Local Government arrived and he selected a group of 16 householders – comprised of equal numbers of farmers and cottiers – covering an area involving 3 miles of piping. The group contributed £500 and promised voluntary labour.
A site for the well was chosen, the E.S.B. was contacted. They sent an engineer who planned pipe-lines and an order was placed with the Board for one of the most powerful and up-to-date pumps available.
The well itself was the first of many disappointments, as the borer had to go to a depth of over 100 feet through rock before what seemed to be a good supply of water was reached. Next came the problem of money. Apart from the cost of the well and the heavy commitments with the E.S.B. there was still £1,000 needed to purchase plastic piping, tanks, etc. Clonmult finally got their piping through the co-operative agent of the local Imokilly Creameries.
Meanwhile, winter came, weather was so vile that the group decided to postpone trench-digging and pipe laying until the spring. But during the interim period the group were working out plans. The details of the contract with the E.S.B. were discussed and an agreement signed with each householder whereby they promised to pay a fixed bi-monthly charge for the special high-tech power supply, the pump and it’s twice yearly overhaul.
Then last May after a demonstration from the Wavin instructor the people began to join and lay the three miles of piping. The E.S.B. had by then the high tension supply now installed to the pump – for which the group had built a pre-fabricated house. Pluming is now underway and before the summer ends the work will be finished. s