Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on the OPW and Flood Relief Eugene Murphy has expressed concern about some of the proposals contained in the Government’s draft flooding strategy for the Shannon region.  The document, which is open for public consultation, includes plans for concrete barriers, which locals say will exacerbate the problem.

Deputy Murphy commented, “The consultation process has been open for just over a month now and I have been contacted by a number of locals who are extremely worried about the current proposals.  The plan to build concrete barriers along the river, outside Carrick-on-Shannon, is of particular concern.  These barriers will only push the flood waters further downstream and risks flooding rural areas outside of the main town.

“The current plan fails to address the root of the problem.  There’s no reference to cleaning or dredging the rivers or even widening them and it has no solutions to deal with flooded turloughs.  Areas like Lough Funshinagh, Dysart and Castleplunkett were severely hit in the winter floods, with many farmers only getting back on their feet in the last number of weeks.  They cannot afford another winter like 2015 – they simply won’t survive.

“The Government and Minister Canney have adopted a hands-off approach to this crisis situation.  Some minor works have been carried out but the bulk of the problem has still not been addressed, and unfortunately the proposals that are before the consultation process will do little to improve the situation.

“Residents feel as if the OPW is not listening to them and that needs to change.  The Department should be engaging with people who have lived in the region and who know the area well, rather than pushing ahead with flawed proposals.  Fianna Fáil has been extremely active in this area and will be bringing forward a Bill later this week to address flooding issues along the Shannon”.