It is damning to think that an environmental lobby group is trying to scupper works which will actually save the habitat around the designated area of Lough Funshinagh in Co. Roscommon, according to independent TD Michael Fitzmaurice.
The elected representative for the Roscommon-Galway constituency was reacting to the news that the environmental lobby group called Friends of the Irish Environment (FIE) is supposedly seeking to apply to the High Court for an order to put a stop to works.
Commenting on the situation, Fitzmaurice said: “It is beyond belief that a group could be contemplating approaching the courts to halt these works.
“Personally, I do not see how someone can be looking for an injunction when the designated site hasn’t even been touched.
“These are emergency works; there are elderly people’s lives at risk. These works will actually benefit the designated area itself and its habitats.
“Anyone who witnessed the Turlough or seen photos of it prior to this excessive flooding in recent years and compared it to its current state would agree that the works need to be done.
“A turlough is a managed landscape and this particular turlough hasn’t been functioning properly for some time – leading to the destruction of habitats as well as the flooding of homes and farmland.
“If this environmental lobby group had any regard for the so-called annexes that are in designated areas they wouldn’t even be thinking of going into courts to block these works.
“Hopefully common sense will prevail and these meddlers will not try to delay any works that are being done as we are approaching yet another winter.
“The lobby group is insinuating that they are taking this course of action on environmental grounds, but preventing these works will do more harm than good for the local environment.
“The prospect of further damage to local’s homes and property also needs to be considered. Many of these families have lived in the area for generations.”
Furthermore, Fitzmaurice questioned why the FIE and its director from Co. Cork were threatening to interfere with the works at Lough Funshinagh. He added: “One would have to wonder if the FIE is acting as a front for somebody lurking in the shadows closer to home.
“People have to realise that the water from the turlough always ended up in the River Shannon anyway, whether it was underground or overground.
“As I have continuously said down through the years, the habitats directive – which was signed in by our now President, Michael D – is the banes of our lives; particularly when it comes to house building, infrastructure, forestry, ports etc.
Concluding, he said: “The works that are being carried out at the moment will only accommodate the final part of the project.
“It is awful easy for someone from a lobby group to be up on a pedestal preaching when the turlough isn’t at their door threatening to flood their home.
“On top of that, it shows the disregard they have; that really all they are interested in is obstruction, because if they looked at the situation they would agree that the turlough is not functioning,” he concluded.
For further information contact Michael Fitzmaurice at 086-1914565