Fianna Fáil General Election candidate, Cllr. Cathal Crowe has said the decision by Clare County Council to withdraw plans for flood defence works in Clonlara is a major disappointment to the local community.

Cllr. Crowe was commenting as it emerged that, following submissions by the National Parks and Wildlife Service and an environmentalist, the local authority has shelved its plans for improve flood defences in the area.

“I am very critical of this decision and in particular of the submissions that were made. I would question whether those who made these submissions have ever been to Clonlara or spoke to the families who were washed out of their homes over the past 10 years.

“Of course, we need to protect our environment, including our fauna and flora, but we need to be cognisant of the effect flooding has on homes, businesses and families.

“To my mind, it seems that environmental lobby groups have the final say on these types of projects, and that the impact on local people is always of secondary importance.

“These remedial works are essential in my opinion. It’s about providing essential flood defences to families who have been devastated by frequent flooding and is quite different to objecting to, say, a new road or windfarm.

“As someone who lives in the vicinity, and who has represented the community on the County Council, I am fully aware of the trauma families have been put through. Back in 2009, I spent three days volunteering at a sandbag filling depot to help Springfield families protect their homes.

“I have sought a meeting with senior personnel from Clare County Council to find out what their plans are now to protect homes, businesses and give families confidence that they will not be left in limbo because of this decision,” concluded Cllr. Crowe.