The contents of the CFRAM (Catchment Flood Risk Assessment and Management) reports carried out after last years flooding are very disappointing and unless there is a total change of attitude in the Office of Public Works we are headed for serious flooding again next winter and every winter into the future.
I am extremely disappointed with the CFRAM report and if this is the best that these experts can come up after costing so much money then maybe it is time to call a halt. For instance they conclude that local rivers cannot be dredged because of environmental concerns That is totally wrong because I was in Europe recently and was told that dredging can take place when there is a threat to people’s homes and livelihoods because of flooding. As per usual there is far too much red tape and rules and regulations connected with these reports.For instance in the Meelick area there is a build up of soil, small hills and trees which should be removed and which would relieve the situation there. Incredibly not one turlough is addressed in the report despite the huge problems associated with them. I also believe that the problems in Crossmolina can be solved too if the will was there.
It has been proven that doing a small bit of remedial work every year has not worked and we have faced serious and worsening flooding problems on an ongoing basis for the past 9 years without achieving anything. There is huge sympathy and an outpouring of anger when people are flooded every winter but the good weather comes and they are forgotten about until the next winter comes around again and it’s just not good enough.
It is clear to me that there are people in the OPW who have been working on this problem who have not delivered and it’s about time that Minister Canny stood up to the plate and replaced those people who clearly have not been doing their job and replace them with people who can act quickly on behalf of the public who are affected. What we need now is not more soft chat and fine words. We need leadership on this most serious issue. We don’t want to be back here again this coming winter with even worse problems. There are solutions out there and we must sort out this problem now once and for all.