Updated on Monday at 12pm
Minister of State for the OPW and Flood Relief Sean Canney is to visit areas affected by Flooding in Roscommon and Leitrim today, Monday September 19th.
He is scheduled to visit a number of areas in Roscommon to view flood relief efforts and to speak to those affected. The areas which he intends to visit include Lough Funshinagh/Ardmullen, Athleague/ Correal Turlough, Castleplunkett/Bushfield/Brackloon and Boyle.
Michael Fitzmaurice TD has welcomed the news saying
“We need practical solutions to prevent any further misery in the region this winter. I have constantly said that listening to local people and putting realistic measures into place are the way to solve further problems. I will be impressing on Minister Canney that immediate measures will need to be taken to prevent serious flooding in this region this coming winter” he concluded.
Meanwhile Fianna Fail Deputy Eugene Murphy has expressed his extreme disappointment with the timing of the visit.
Deputy Murphy is the opposition spokesperson on the OPW and Flood Relief and the date coincides with the Fianna Fail party think-in. Eugene Murphy now claims the visit by the Minister of State was “coincidentally” organised for Monday in a bid to exclude Deputy Murphy from being able to attend. “It is very unfortunate that Minister Canney’s visit coincides with the Fianna Fail party think in which is taking place in Carlow on Monday and Tuesday. As Fianna Fail spokesperson on the OPW and Flood Relief I have been working hard on flooding issues and in fact launched a bill in this regard last week. In fact I discussed the issue of flooding and turloughs at length with Minister Canney at a meeting in Ballinasloe last Wednesday night and he gave no indication of a visit to the constituency at that stage.”
Eugene Murphy added “The crisis issue of flooding and turloughs is very much to the fore of people’s minds as we head into the winter months and we are only seven days rainfall away from another devastating flood- it is a shame to think that a political football is now being made of such issues when we all as politicians should be focusing on joined up thinking and solutions to the issue.”
“I am now in the process of making arrangements with my party to ensure that I will be in a position to be present in the constituency for Minister’s Canney’s visit next Monday as I feel it is a major priority and I have been pressing for this visit for some time now,” concluded Deputy Murphy.
Meanwhile Senator Maura Hopkins has today’s visit to the families and communities affected by flooding is “positive”.
She said “Recently, the Geological Survey of Ireland (GSI) commenced a survey project on groundwater flooding related to turloughs in order to investigate the complex subsurface drainage systems at these turloughs. The Geological Survey of Ireland is now working with Roscommon County Council and the Office of Public Works (OPW) to better understand these flooded areas and identify potential solutions”.
Maura Hopkins added “I have recently visited many families who were affected by flood waters across the county, they are seeking urgent works to be completed in order and I will again today be calling on Minister Sean Canney to prioritise the implementation of solutions identified”.
Senator Frank Feighan said
“Minister Canney is well aware of my numerous representations on this issue and the need for the OPW to carry out a technical examination of these turloughs. I am glad the Minister is now visiting Boyle to see these flood-hit areas at first hand and talk directly to those who have been severely affected. ”
He added “One of the flooding turloughs the Minister will be visiting this evening is at Lisserdrea beside the home of Ann and Vincent Brady, who are still reeling from the flooding devastation they suffered last Winter.
Senator Feighan continued “With funding assistance from the severe weather fund, Roscommon County Council did raise the road near the Brady home and I understand that the council recently opened a swallow hole towards the end of turlough. These works revealed a slow flow of water which may indicate a blockage of some type. As part of the agreed monitoring programme of turloughs nationally between the Office of Public Works (OPW) and the Geological Survey of Ireland, this Lisserdrea turlough is among those selected for a technical examination which will involve the use of a dye-trace. It is hoped this examination will help inform workable solutions to address the flooding problem.
Frank Feighan concluded, by saying “This turlough examination and the analysis of the results must happen as soon as possible in order to meaningfully address a flooding crisis, which has caused so much stress and anxiety to the Brady family.”