Mulherin calls for progress on Crossmolina and Ballina flood defences

Senator Michelle Mulherin.

Senator Michelle Mulherin.

Mayo Senator Michelle Mulherin has called for an update on the delivery of the Crossmolina flood defences. Speaking in the Seanad, Senator Mulherin said: “In September 2015, €430 million was put into a pot for investment in various schemes around the country. I know one such scheme is earmarked for my own area of Crossmolina.

“Crossmolina was flooded in November 2015 and December 2015. Prior to that, for a couple of years, consultants had considered long-term flood defences. In fact, very late in the day they decided that the building of flood defences in the town, which would comprise building a wall which was being pursued to design, could not be done because it would interfere with the integrity of a bridge. It seemed a bit late in the day to make that decision.

“They have been considering other options since 2014 but we still haven't officially established a preferred option. What accountability is there in terms of consultants carrying out their work? What deadlines have they been asked to work to? An option has not been yet been identified that would allow works to proceed to design, yet the money is there. We need to see more for the people of Crossmolina and for people throughout the country. We also have Catchment Flood Risk Assessment and Management, CFRAM, an analysis of over 300 areas that are at risk of flooding.

“In regard to Ballina, where I live, I would like to know how the recommendations and plans for flood defences for the town are going to be implemented and what funding will follow these plans because we are heading into the time of year for floods. Obviously floods happened sooner than expected in Donegal and I extend my sincere sympathies to the people of Donegal. Floods are a shocking experience and I have witnessed it first hand in Ballina and Crossmolina. We need to know that progress has been made.

“The people need to know what work is being done. We need some accountability from the OPW and the consultants it has engaged so that we know this matter is getting their full attention. I am calling on the Minister get these questions answered and show progress in the provision of flood defences. To my mind, the delays in Crossmolina seem inordinate.”

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