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OPW says no viable solutions for Lough Funshinagh flooding

Sep 28, 2020 13:09 By Shannonside News
OPW says no viable solutions for Lough Funshinagh flooding OPW says no viable solutions for Lough Funshinagh flooding
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The Office of Public Works says there are no viable, cost effective, or sustainable solutions, to alleviate flooding at Lough Funshinagh in south Roscommon. The

The Office of Public Works says there are no viable, cost effective, or sustainable solutions, to alleviate flooding at Lough Funshinagh in south Roscommon.

The decision and the report that it is based on, was described as flawed by members of the Athlone Municipal District which discussed it at a special meeting this morning, and one which they say makes it embarrassing to be a politician.

The Office of Public Works says that of seven options to mitigate flooding at what was once a turlough, but is now a more permanent lake, six are unviable according to a cost benefit analysis.

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It says one final option, of building a flood defence wall around a house that is most at risk of being flooded is not a guarantee of no future flooding so it proposes that it should be put forward for relocation.

The cost of an overflow pipe which all councilors say will address flooding on agricultural lands and not just houses, is estimated at €1.5 million - however damage to the local environment is deemed to make this unviable.

Since the report by Malachy Walsh & Partners, Consulting Engineers was first published, councillors have stated that the basis on which it and the OPW bases its cost benefit ratios is flawed, because it doesn't take into account an adequate cost of loss of agricultural land. It's also estimated that now that there are no natural habitats and wildlife that are not now effectively destroyed.

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Councillor Donal Kilduff says the OPW is simply ignoring the vital role that local people and local democracy has to play.

Councillors are writing the Minister for the Environment to visit the area and see the loss of habitat for himself.

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They are also calling for re-designation of the turlough to allow farmers some leeway when it comes to farm payments.

They are also seeking a change in the way ratios are calculated that would take into account the effects of doing nothing, which they say will run into many millions, between more houses being flooded, roads needing to be raised, the loss of agricultural payments, and not least, continued environmental destruction.

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