I welcome news that Flood mitigation works have begun on the River Shannon this week at pinch points at Meelick and Banagher and it should be the start of a nationwide programme of river and drain cleaning to ease the flood risk into the future.
I want to give credit where it is due and it is good to see that there are now machines working on the Shannon. It’s probably 70 years too late but at least we have made a start and now we must continue and expand that work around the country. We need the Government now to commit to, and provide a budget for, a programme of river and drain cleaning around the country. The problems we have will not be adressed overnight but it is very clear that there are water courses that are blocked all over the country and it is leading to the flooding problems we have been experiencing.
A programme of works should be drawn up by every local authority and a budget provided by the Government for thiose works. In addition, every obstacle to the carrying out of these works should be removed so that a proper programme can be carried out across the country. It is absolutely esssential that these works are carried out as we do not want a repeat of the misery that we have seen caused to the people in Donegal, along the Shannon, and in many other counties including Roscommon and Galway in recent years.