Persistent Lough Funshinagh issue will force families from their homes - Naughten

Local Independent Deputy, Denis Naughten, has told the Dáil that unless a State taskforce is established to address the barriers blocking the completion of flood relief works at Lough Funshinagh, on the western shores of Lough Ree, in the heart of Ireland, then many more communities across the country will face a similar crisis in the coming years.

“Because of the legal challenges associated with the emergency flood relief works at Lough Funshinagh, we are now left in a situation where the only option that may be open to families facing the threat of flooding, where works impact on a designated habitat, is to have the homes demolished and the families relocated.

“In the middle of a housing and climate emergency this is not an acceptable solution,” Deputy Naughten stated.

Deputy Naughten has called on Government to establish a cross-departmental and cross-agency task force as a matter of urgency to address emergency climate adaptation measures to protect homes.

“The first item on the agenda of this new task force should be the authorisation of flood alleviation works at Lough Funshinagh on the western shores of Lough Ree as a case study,” Deputy Naughten stated.

He went on to point out the reason the Lough Funshinagh works should be used as a case study is because the legal barriers which have been highlighted through two court injunctions have serious implications for many communities throughout the country.

“These are communities that will sadly, over the coming years, find themselves in a similar situation to that of the community in Ballagh, where its very survival is threatened by our changing climate,” Deputy Naughten commented.

The issues that need to be addressed are clearly set out in a letter sent to the Minister of State, Deputy O’Donovan, dated 19 May, by the Cathaoirleach and Chief Executive of Roscommon County Council which sets out five very clear asks.

“We need action on these now, not just for the families in South Roscommon but for other families who will face similar climate-related crises in the years to come,” Deputy Naughten concluded.


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