TDs call for urgent action on local flood relief

County Galway will be given the highest priority in flood relief works by the Office of Public Works from next year, according to Minister of State with responsibility for the OPW Martin Mansergh.

Minister Mansergh was in Galway yesterday to discuss the actions being undertaken following last month’s catastrophic flooding in parts of north, south, and east Galway. The Minister met with all nine Galway TDs during his visit, and he informed them that of all the places which he visited during the recent flooding, County Galway was the worst affected and will be given the highest priority by the OPW during 2010 and thereafter.

Minister Mansergh was accompanied on the visit by senior engineering staff from the OPW.

He confirmed that a working group has been established with Galway County Council which will decide the works programme to be carried out. It will establish a timeframe and identify short term drainage works to be carried out in 2010 and longer term remedial works thereafter.

The Minister said that hydrological studies will commence immediately on the Corrib/Clare River catchment, and his office will keep in contact with the deputies regarding the timescale for the completion of this study, along with a wider catchment flood relief study in the affected areas.

In a statement issued yesterday, the deputies said that immediate action must take place in regard to various flooded areas and have requested a further meeting in January and a further visit by Minister Mansergh to Galway in the New Year. They also recommended that Galway County Council should carry out smaller flood alleviation works under OPW supervision and funding as quickly as possible.

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