The people of Ballina will get their chance to engage with the Office of Public Works when they host a public consultation day next month in Ballina in relation to a draft flood risk map for the town. The consultation day will take place on Tuesday November 11 at the civic offices in Ballina, where members of the public can meet with officials from the OPW and experts from the specialist consultant, JBA Consulting, who will also be in attendance.
Fine Gael TD Michelle Mulherin told the Mayo Advertiser this week: “In February of this year after the destruction caused by the river Moy bursting its banks I arranged for the former minister of state with special responsibility for the Office of Public Works, Brian Hayes MEP, to visit Ballina to view the damage caused by the flooding and to assure victims that the need for flood mitigation measures in Ballina was recognised and the town was included as a priority area. Since then the OPW has been working on this matter and has conducted a comprehensive scientific exercise to identify and determine all the factors leading to flooding hazard in areas of areas pursuant to the National Catchment -based Flood Risk Assessment and Management programme. This has resulted in a draft flooding map being prepared for Ballina and the River Moy which indicates the fluvial and coastal flood risk to the town.”
Deputy Mulherin continued: “After this consultation process has been concluded options for future flood defences to mitigate flood risk will be developed and set out in a flood risk management plan. This will form the basis for government prioritisation of flood risk and spending on flood defences. I am very mindful that people in Bachelors Walk, Arbuckle Row, and Clare Street who have had their homes flooded are fearful it could happen again. Therefore I have spoken with the new Minister of State for the OPW, Simon Harris, on a number of occasions about people's fears and pressing the urgency of the situation and he assures me he is as committed to finding a viable solution as his predecessor.”