Fianna Fáil TD for Galway East Anne Rabbitte says the Department of Public Expenditure and the Office and Public Works (OPW) should prioritise flood defence projects over the next number of months to ensure vulnerable areas of Galway are protected from flooding following extreme weather events.

She explained, “There are still homes and farms flooded or rebuilding due to damage from flooding across Galway. These families are in this position from a lack of robust flood defence schemes and they need Government protection. This protection is needed immediately but so are long term measures.

“I have raised my concerns on the slow progress in delivering flood relief schemes with various Departments.

“The Department of Public Expenditure and Reform have informed me the Gort Lowlands Flood Relief Scheme is progressing. Modelling is close to completion and this will feed into the route selection and feasibility assessment which is ongoing and expected to be completed by mid-2020.

“I have also raised the need for progression on the Portumna Flood Relief Scheme. This scheme is included in the Shannon Catchment Flood Risk Management Plan. I have concerns, as this plan was published in 2018 that two years on, we have seen little progress. There is a ten-year time frame from this plan but any resident in Portuma will tell you they cannot afford to wait eight more years without a robust flood relief scheme.

“The Department need to deliver a realistic timeline for the Portumna Flood Relief Scheme. Flooding has put homes, farms, and businesses at risk. We should not have Galway residents living in fear of flooding daily,” concluded Deputy Rabbitte.