Galway communities left under water by OPW decision not to fund flood relief works – Keaveney
09 December 2015
Fianna Fáil TD for Galway East Colm Keaveney has slammed the Office of Public Works for rejecting an application by Galway County Council in August this year to carry out drainage work from Grannagh to Blackrock in Peterswell. Deputy Keaveney is calling on Minister Simon Harris to urgently review the situation and ensure that this flooding blackspot is addressed.
“This is the second time that communities in east Galway have been hit by savage floods. Homes and businesses have been devastated by these latest floods, which could have been prevented had proper flood reliefs been put in place. Local residents have been dealing with seasonal flooding every year since 2009, which saw much of the east of the county submerged in what is widely regarded as some of worst floods that Galway had ever seen.
“The fact that the Government have sat back and allowed this to happen again is nothing short of disgraceful. So far this year, Fine Gael and Labour have underspent on flood relief schemes to the tune of €14.5m so far this year. The OPW refused an application for funding by Galway County Council for the drainage of swallow holes from Grannagh to Blackrock earlier this year claiming that it “was not possible to adequately determine the benefits that would be derived from the proposed works”. Not only is this unbelievable, it is unacceptable. It is precisely this route that is now submerged under water.
“This Government has completely abandoned people in east Galway. They are now facing into another lengthy clean-up process in the weeks before Christmas. For many, their Christmas has been ruined. What is most galling is the fact that this flooding was predicted and could have been prevented if the Government had made the money available to carry out the necessary flood works.
“The consistent foot-dragging by successive Fine Gael Ministers have led us to this shambolic situation. I am urging Minister Simon Harris to urgently intervene to ensure that funds are provided to put concrete flood defence mechanisms in place and to spare residents in east Galway the trauma and anguish that they have been subjected to over the past six years”.