Local Fine Gael Senator, Aisling Dolan and Minister of State for the Office of Public Works (OPW ), visited the shores of Lough Funshinagh in recent times to witness the ongoing works being undertaken to enhance water level control at the location.
Speaking following her visit, Senator Dolan, noted the devastating impact which rising flood waters have had on the local community.
“Over the past number of months, I have been in frequent contact with Minister Patrick O’Donovan and the Lough Funshinagh Flood Crisis committee to highlight the devastating impact of flooding to local communities.
“Families in the locality were suffering much anxiety and stress on a regular basis with regard to the constant rising flood waters as Roscommon County Council personnel anticipated the relevant measures required to protect homes.
“Minister O’Donovan noted that meetings happened every week with the Chair of OPW Maurice Buckley and his team and that Lough Funshinagh was continuously discussed.
“Now, we can see the results of decisive action and significant Government investment by Minister Patrick O’Donovan to save communities in South Roscommon. The Minister has strongly supported this complex engineering initiative with Chief Executive, Eugene Cummins, Director, Shane Tiernan and all the team in the local authority.
“I was delighted to welcome Minister Donovan to Lough Funshinagh to review the start of the project with Minister Frank Feighan, Cathaoirleach, Lawrence Fallon, Cllr John Naughton and public representatives.
“Staff from the OPW are busy at work and three diggers only stopped briefly to allow us to review the site. They have already removed layers of topsoil and will be digging approximately eight metres down at the deepest point to install an overflow pipe. This 2.6km pipeline will link to an existing watercourse to the Shannon and help reduce water levels in advance of next winter.
“I would like to thank secretary, Geraldine Murray and all the members of the Lough Funshinagh Flood Crisis committee for their continuous efforts to find a solution as well as the community and landowners working together. This OPW project can make such a difference to the livelihoods of people in Lisphelim, Ardmullen, Rahara and Ballagh. It will essentially bring much relief to the local community. I look forward to seeing this progress quickly during the summer months with a scheduled completion date towards the end of September/start of October,” Senator Dolan remarked.
Minister of State, Deputy Patrick O’Donovan, further welcomed the necessary measures presently taking place to ensure the hardship suffered by the local community did not occur in future times.
“I am delighted that Roscommon County Council has taken the decision to proceed with urgent works to control the water levels at the Lough under the provisions contained in the Local Authorities (Works ) Act 1949.
“The flooding has placed a considerable hardship on homeowners and the community and the news of the commencement of these works will help to alleviate the distress and anxiety that the flood levels and the continued threat of flooding is having in the area.
“Roscommon County Council’s decision to intervene is prompted by recent reports and a hydrological update on Lough Funshinagh it has received which predict the potential for flood levels next winter to exceed previous records. Starting construction on the overflow pipe now will ensure enough time to lower the water level of the lake in advance of next winter and alleviate concerns of residents in the locality,” Minister Donovan concluded.