Public meeting to discuss South Galway’s flooding issues

A public meeting about the ongoing flooding problem in South Galway will take place in Sullivan’s Hotel Gort next Monday April 18. This winter again saw mass flooding in the area and numerous people having to be evacuated from their homes. There is still land under water and farmers are suffering the after-effects of trying to deal with ruined sodden land.

An Bord Pleanala has now granted planning permission for the Dunkellin/Aggard Flood Relief Project and a fund of €6m has been allocated to the project. Work on the Dunkellin will commence shortly and when completed it will allow for the development of other smaller flood relief projects which will feed into the Dunkellin and Aggard.

There is also work ongoing to try and alleviate the problem in Cahermore - the townland between Kinvara and Ardrahan which was one of the worst affected areas this year. The flooding there reached such crisis levels after Christmas that locals took it upon themselves to dig a three mile channel to the sea. This channel proved to be critical in ensuring that a large number of homes in the surrounding area were spared from going under water. It is estimated that this work cost in the region of €30,000 and was described by Kinvara councillor Joe Byrne “as the most important piece of infrastructure developed in south Galway in 25 years.”

After much campaigning by locals and political representatives it has been announced that Galway County Council is to use funding available under the Minor Works Flood Relief Scheme to construct a permanent relief channel in Cahermore. The council is due to lodge a planning application to get the green light for this work and it is hoped it will commence shortly. It is also acknowledged that another channel is needed to ensure water is released from Coole Lough to prevent future flooding around Gort.

It is now hoped that the South Galway community is nearing a point where lasting flood relief solutions will be put in place. It is the least people deserve as the hardship of having to leave one’s home, due to it being under water, is something that nobody should ever have to endure. Surely everyone has the right to live in peace without living in constant fear of the next flood. Former councillor Bridie Willers is someone whose Ardrahan home has been flooded on numerous occasions since the 1990s, and she gives a simple explanation of the way she and those in the same position live. Dejection, frustration, and anger are adjectives she uses to describe the range of emotions she is going through. “The future is very bleak. I can’t really put any gloss on it. The months of March to September/ October time are fine, but come the winter, you are constantly living on your nerves, watching the water rising, and coming nearer your door.”

+Locals and landowners are being invited to attend Monday’s meeting to have their say on possible solutions. The meeting is being organised by Deputy Ciaran Cannon, and he has also invited the area’s other two TDs Anne Rabbitte and Sean Canney. The event will take place in Sullivan’s Hotel at 8.30pm.

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