Flood relief works for Crossmolina need to be done in summer, says Mulherin

Action has to be taken to ensure that the all flood relief works in Crossmolina are undertaken during the summer, so as to avoid the serious flooding that occurred last winter, the Seanad was told yesterday (Wednesday )

Speaking in the upper house, Senator Michelle Mulherin called upon the newly appointed Junior Minister for the Office of Public Works, Sean Canney to take action to ensure that all minor flood relief works which can mitigate against the risk of flooding to Crossmolina this Winter again be carried out as a matter of urgency over this Summer period.''

|"While I welcome the plans for major flood defences which are being developed for Crossmolina and have been listed for funding in the government's €430million national capital programme, it will take several years for this project to be implemented.

"In the meantime more minor works to mitigate against the risk of flooding this coming Winter need to be carried out as soon as possible especially as this is now been made more easier with the river level being quite low. Local people are entitled to expect that whatever shorter term solutions can be done are being done before the Winter."

She said that some relief from flood risk needs to be carried out in the shorter term.

"I am very concerned at the seemingly slow rate of progress in the delivery of minor flood defences for Crossmolina. Subsequent to my raising this issue in the Seanad I met with Minister Canney who advised me that €49,000 was sanctioned in March by the OPW for the construction of a wall as a flood barrier at the car park in Crossmolina.

"Why is this work not being carried out as we speak? Last December in Crossmolina the then Minister Simon Harris announced a pilot project for floodgates for Crossmolina, but no application for funding has been received yet by Minister Canney and the terms of the scheme seem unclear. This seems incredible.

"I also put it to the Minister that the river from the bridge to Lough Conn should be cleaned and cleared before winter comes again. While it is not a complete solution in itself it could well have prevented the first flood in November which saw a few inches of water go into premises and homes.

"He is now pursuing this request with his officials in the OPW. Since December the OPW and Mayo County Council have been meeting monthly along with the Crossmolina Flood Action Committee to progress plans for minor works which move was endorsed by Minister Harris. Plans must be driven on by these State agencies so we can see work being carried out on the ground and an urgency must be injected into the situation. I have no doubt from my lengthy meeting with the Minister that he is working as we speak towards this end and I look forward to bringing him to meet with people in Crossmolina in very early course," she concluded.

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