Locals’ views must be heeded during M18 road construction

Construction of the M18 in south Galway could disturb drainage channels which take flood waters to the sea in times of heavy rain, but problems can be avoided if the views of local people and farmers are heeded.

This is the view of Fine Gael senator Ciaran Cannon, who feels that as the new motorway will traverse a major part of the south Galway landscape, land and home owners “deserve to have formal representation at a negotiating table” during the construction phase.

Many farmers in south Galway have “major reservations about the construction” of the road through the limestone landscape that has remained “untouched for thousands of years”.

According to Sen Cannon, they believe that the M18 road may “disturb drainage channels which are necessary to take flood waters to the sea in times of heavy rain”.

Sen Cannon said it is important such views are heeded in order to avoid problems in the future and because of the severe floods which affected many parts of east Galway in late 2009/early 2010.

“If such a forum is established before construction begins we would hope to avoid many of the issues that arose during the construction of the M6,” he said. “Initially the N6 engineers did not take the views of local landowners on board but eventually they came round. I would hope something similar would happen in south Galway.”

Sen Cannon said that once the contractor is ready to move on site, he will ask the company involved to meet with local councillors.

“They are the democratically elected representatives of the people,” he said, “and deserve a seat at a negotiating table during construction.”

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