Fianna Fáil TD for Donegal Charlie McConalogue has cautiously welcomed the announcement of progress for flood schemes in Donegal, but insisted that residents in areas subject to flooding across the county will only real feel relief once they begin.
Deputy McConalogue raised the flooding issue in the Dáil last month when he urged Minister of State with responsibility for the Office of Public Works, Kevin ‘Boxer’ Moran, to visit Donegal and see the need for funding for projects for himself.
“The Minister indicated at the time that he was planning to visit Donegal and I am glad he visited last week and announced progress to several flood relief schemes in the county,” Deputy McConalogue said.
“I am sure the news of flood relief projects for Buncrana, Ramelton and Ballybofey/Stranorlar will be widely welcomed as indeed will be the announcement that advertisements have now been placed for consultants for the projects in Burnfoot, Castlefin, Glenties, Downings and Kerrykeel.
Deputy McConalogue added that news of the appointment of a consultant for the Lifford flood relief project and the pledge to exhibit a preferred scheme for Raphoe early next year, are also to be welcomed, but warned that what residents across Donegal want to see now is action.
“Many people are still coming to terms with the horror and devastation that flooding has caused to their homes, farms and businesses so it really is vital now that all of the works announced last week are progressed as a matter of urgency.
“We’ve had announcements before without action, not just on flood relief, but also on issues like Mica and the roll out of broadband. While the announcements of funding for these schemes is very welcome, they will be of little use unless the work gets done as a matter of priority.
Deputy McConalogue said Ireland now has one of the longest continuous records of rainfall in the world and that’s a worrying trend for people living in areas affected by floods.
“Over the past decade, rainfall levels across Ireland have been rising rapidly Donegal residents in flood-prone areas will continue to be exceptionally nervous until such a time as the announcements are translated into works. I will continue to put pressure on the Minister to ensure that these works are delivered without delay”.