Local Independent Deputy, Denis Naughten, has once again been in communication with the Minister for the Office of Public Works, Patrick O’Donovan TD, and Minister for Agriculture, Charlie McConalogue TD, seeking their urgent intervention on the rapidly deteriorating situation on the ground at Lough Funshinagh, west of Lough Ree.
“Water levels are now 9cm higher than the historic high-water mark set in April 2020 and as I pointed out in Dáil Éireann during a debate on the turlough recently, the lough will not reach its seasonal peak until March.
“While I understand that both Ministers had constructive engagement last week when they held a meeting on the issues relating to Lough Funshinagh, it is imperative that we now see movement on the issues I highlighted on the floor of the Dáil.
“We need a comprehensive solution to the issues and not a piecemeal approach which would see home by home or farmyard by farmyard relocated over a prolonged period of time.
“I’m also disappointed to receive confirmation from Minister Eamon Ryan TD that while a 20-year reference period is being used for his international negotiations on climate change, he is sticking to a 70-year model for rainfall in the vicinity of Lough Funshinagh.
“This is disappointing in light of the fact that the last 20 years have been the wettest on record and all of the climate scientists are telling us that we will see more and heavier rainfall over the decades to come.
“Clearly this is what is being experienced on the ground by families and farmers in the vicinity of Lough Funshinagh and needs to be reflected in the flood forecast modelling,” Deputy Naughten commented.