The Fianna Fail Junior Spokesperson for the OPW and Flood Relief, Deputy Eugene Murphy has said an urgent solution needs to be found in relation to flooding at turloughs in Counties Roscommon and Galway.
Deputy Murphy was speaking this week following a meeting with IFA officials in Dail Eireann when he met with Connacht Regional Chairman Padraic Joyce and IFA SAC Executive Gerry Gunning who is a native of Ballinaheglish. Deputy Murphy pointed out that the flooding of turloughs are a unique problem in Counties Roscommon, Galway, Mayo and Clare and many farmers in the region are still experiencing hardship as hundreds of acres of farmland are still under water in these counties. “There are a total of 133 different areas throughout County Roscommon which are still affected by flooding and many homeowners and business owners are becoming increasingly frustrated,” said Deputy Murphy.
Eugene Murphy said he hopes to have turloughs designated as special areas of attention in a new Bill which will be brought before the Dail in the coming weeks. Deputy Murphy is a co-sponsor of a new Bill in relation to the “ELECTRICITY (SUPPLY) (AMENDMENT) (NO. 2) ACT, 1934”. The aim of the bill is to enable the ESB to alter the levels of the Shannon lakes in conjunction with other bodies without legislative restraints. This will be followed by a separate bill on creating a Single River Shannon agency which he is currently working on.
“The flooding of turloughs throughout Counties Roscommon and Galway is still a major issue and in fact it’s very much the forgotten story as countless farmers and farming families are still under siege from rising flood waters at a number of turloughs in the region. Turloughs need to be included as a special area of attention and I am working on having this included in a new Bill to be brought before the Dail,” said Eugene Murphy.
Lough Funshinagh Meeting
Deputy Murphy attended a recent meeting was in Rahara, South Roscommon in relation to excessive flooding at Lough Funshinagh since Winter.
“The turlough is still over 2 foot higher than it normally is for this time of year and locals are afraid that hundreds of acres of farmland will be destroyed once again. I spoke to one local man in his nineties who cannot remember such water levels in his lifetime. The IFA have also expressed concern that due to the excessive levels of flooding many farmlands which are still under water may not be eligible for payments and this is obviously an issue of major concern for farming families,” said Deputy Murphy.
The Fianna Fail TD said he would support the IFA’s suggestion of grant aiding farmers to carry out some repair and drainage works which may go some way to helping to alleviate the flooding crisis and he also stressed the importance of drawing on local farming knowledge.
Eugene Murphy TD welcomed the fact that Minister Denis Naughten has commissioned aerial surveys from the geological survey of Ireland for all turloughs and top experts on turloughs also met with officials in Roscommon County Council to discuss solutions to flooding on last week.
A drain from Funshinagh towards Ardmullen and onto the Shannon is understood to be the best solution locally and it is estimated that it would cost up to €700,000.
Curraghroe and Sliabh Ban
The Fianna Fail TD said that flash flooding was also now a reality which the Government and politicians would have to face up to and he referred to the recent flooding issue in the Curraghroe and Sliabh Ban area of County Roscommon
“The on-site weather monitoring station recorded rainfall levels a total of 89.2mm in a three hour period on the evening of June 15th, representing 83% of the highest recorded total monthly average rainfall for the Curraghroe area,” said Deputy Murphy.
The Fianna Fail Deputy said that he was currently in the process of organising a trip to the Cumbria area of England to witness at first hand the successful flood defence mechanisms which are in place in that region while Deputy Murphy said that he is planning to bring a Cumbrian based expert on flood defence systems to County Roscommon to install a model of a flood defence system in a local house.
“The Government has to step up to the mark in relation to the reality of flash flooding and adequate flood defence measures need to be introduced to County Roscommon and indeed other affected areas of the county do not face such a nightmare situation in the future,” concluded Deputy Murphy.