A decision on releasing the balance of the money for the €7.1 million Clare River flood relief scheme is to be made in the coming weeks by the Minister for Public Expenditure, Brendan Howlin.
Minister Howlin confirmed to Independent Galway West TD Noel Grealish this week that he was to make a decision soon on the release of the money. About €2.5m has already been spent on advance works. Environmental studies are almost complete and the project is now waiting for approval.
According to Dep Grealish, Minister Howlin said funding "will be provided and that it is a priority for the OPW," but that it was not possible to say when works would begin. However Dep Grealish is calling for the "immediately release of funds" for the flood prevention works. He has also tabled a Parliamentary Question on the issue, seeking a time frame for the flood alleviation measures to be carried out in Claregalway, Montaigh, and Carnmore.
The severe flooding of homes and land in the area, following sustained torrential rainfall in November 2009, came three years after another extensive bout of flooding in the area three years earlier.
“It is imperative that the Minister acts quickly on this," he said. "All that’s needed is his signature for the project proper to get under way. The big fear among people in the area is that if this work is not completed soon, there could be another weather event that could see them suffer the same trauma as in 2009."