Deputy Denis Naughten has called on the National Emergency Co-ordination group to direct Bord Na Mona to let its bogs in the Midlands flood to ease the pressure of mounting flood waters.
Speaking this week the Deputy said Bord Na Mona continues to keep its pumps running to prevent commercial bog land from flooding and that this now needs to be urgently reviewed.
“With water levels already at near record highs the additional rainfall could push flood waters over these levels, which will destroy homes and leave communities marooned and inaccessible to emergency services,” Deputy Naughten said.
“Bord Na Mona has tens of thousands of acres of bog land within the Shannon basin which would flood naturally, some up to 4.5m in depth, and even if this resulted in just a small overall reduction in the flood levels it could be the difference between saving homes or watching them flood. Such a proposal has been put to Government in the past by an all-party Dáil committee, but now we need urgent action to save whole communities.
“By flooding some of the bog lands north of Lough Ree and south of Athlone, we could help to ease pressure on towns such as Carrick-on-Shannon and Athlone and communities within the Shannon Callows. This would also delay the speed at which water enters Lough Derg and, as a result, would impact on the spill rate at Parteen Weir which directly threatens communities in Limerick and Clare.”