Independent TD for Roscommon-Galway Michael Fitzmaurice welcomed the news this week that there is finally going to be some action taken on the River Shannon.
The Minister of State for the Office of Public Works (OPW) and Flood Relief, Kevin ‘Boxer’ Moran, announced this week that approximately €9 million will be awarded to Leitrim County Council to progress flood relief schemes in Carrick-on-Shannon, Leitrim, Mohill and Dromod.
However, Deputy Fitzmaurice fears that works could be delayed by up to two years due to various stumbling blocks, particularly around environmental issues.
“There is a massive necessity for the pinchpoints to be taken out of the River Shannon.
“It is also my view that there is a serious blockage around Termonbarry and it needs to be addressed immediately, along with issues around Jamestown.
“I want to commend Minister Moran for the control of the River Shannon this year and I hope that he doesn’t listen to some of the environmental lobbies who are always scaremongering about the river.”
Continuing, Deputy Fitzmaurice outlined that it is imperative that other counties in the west of Ireland secure funding for the likes of the River Suck and indeed its tributaries in order to alleviate the hardship that people have endured over the last number of years.
“While it may not be the only solution, I have always said that the cleaning of drains and water channels that have gone untouched for years will be one of the key measures that will need to be taken in order to move water faster.
“I also welcome the news that lake levels in Lough Allen will be lowered again this winter.
“It is also imperative that works are carried out rapidly in areas where problems with turloughs have had to be endured, because people must not be forced to suffer the hardships that they have had to put up with in the last number of years.”
The independent TD called for urgent work to be carried out in Loch Fuinseann and added that if the work was completed correctly, it would not have a negative impact on anybody else further downstream.
Concluding, he said: “It is also important that problems that emerged in Correal, Co. Roscommon, are addressed.
“As well as this, drainage from the River Suck through Oran down towards Ballyglass and across to Ballinaheglish needs doing urgently.
“This is the only way that we will solve flooding problems and ensure that land is workable for farmers.”