Disappointment as Minister has no plans to visit Lough Funshinagh – Naughten

Local Independent Deputy, Denis Naughten, has expressed disappointment that Heritage Minister Malcolm Noonan TD has no plans to visit the community at Lough Funshinagh to see the environmental devastation for himself.

The invitation to visit had been extended by his colleague, Deputy Patrick O’Donovan, Minister for the Office of Public Works, in the context of the ongoing work to secure planning authorisation for the completion of the overflow pipe from the lake.

“What is going on around Lough Funshinagh is an environmental disaster and you can only appreciate its significance when you see it on the ground.

“While this is disappointing for those families in South Roscommon who are on the brink of having their homes washed away, this also has implications for many more communities throughout the country in the future.

“Because of the legal challenges associated with the emergency flood relief works at Lough Funshinagh, we are left in a situation where this has now set a precedent for other similar emergency works across the country. The legal barriers which have been highlighted through two court injunctions have serious implications for many communities.

“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.

“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.

“To address these actions requires coordination right across Government, which does not seem to be forthcoming with the failure of Minister Noonan to take up the request from his Government colleague to visit the area.

“We need action 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 asserted.


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