I thank the Ceann Comhairle for allowing me to raise this important matter on the Adjournment.
The town of Cobh has grown enormously over the last number of years and is continuing to develop. The Minister is familiar with the geography of Cobh and that it is effectively built on a hill. There are three levels, one at the waterside, another slightly up the hill and the third at the top of the hill.
The largest amount of development over the last two years has been at the top of the hill and there has been a major problem regarding the water supply to the new housing estates. The supply to the new houses and the existing housing stock in the middle layer is cut off at different times during the day. This was particularly the case last summer, and the water is often cut off in the morning. Given the massive amount of development taking place, a new water tower to supply water to the new houses is required. If a catastrophe occurred, such as a fire, one of the main dangers is that the water supply may not be sufficient to enable the fire brigade to extinguish it.
A number of weeks ago the Minister's programme manager met the urban district council in Cobh and the members were promised that the council would receive a reply by 22 April. A response has not yet reached Cobh — I am not aware if it arrived this evening — and the members of the urban district council are most disappointed. I ask the Minister of State to urgently address this matter because it has been ongoing for a number of years. It has not arisen only in recent months; it dates back to the time my party was in Government. However, this problem must be addressed immediately to ensure a catastrophe is avoided. I do not want members of the Government blamed for something they had the power to rectify. I hope the Minister of State has good news for Cobh.