Marian Harkin

Practical and realistic solutions needed to address Shannon flooding

Matter raised in the Dail

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Reporter:

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An aerial view of Carrick-on-Shannon when it was flooded in 2009. Fears have been expressed about the chances of flooding in six areas 'of significant flood risk' in the county.

A view of the flooding in Carrick-on-Shannon in 2009.

Shannon flooding would continue into the future and would not be remedied for Carrick-on-Shannon and surrounding areas until pinch points on the Shannon were dealt with and the building of containment walls at Carrick-on-Shannon was abandoned as a solution.

This was contended by Marian Harkin TD when she told Minister for Finance Paschal Donohue in the Dail on Thursday, June 17 that not a tea spoonful of water had been taken out of the river but millions of tonnes of silt and peat, fallen trees and debris had been deposited in it over the years since the foundation of the State.

She told Minister Donohue that nothing positive had been done to assist the river flow and part of the solution was to address pinch points on the river.

There had been opposition to increasing the flow at Jamestown, as it was suggested that this would cause flooding problems further down the river but this, factually, was not the case.

The fact that the weir at Jamestown was not built according to plan and needed to be upgraded was adding significantly to flooding problems between Carrick-on-Shannon and Jamestown and this needed to be remedied immediately, she stated.

It is possible to find solutions by tackling the flow rate of the water taking into consideration the flow rates at different points along the river, combined with addressing water levels in Lough Allen, she suggested.

“Flooding on the Shannon can never be fully eliminated but we can mitigate its effects using some of the measures I mentioned, alongside others,” she said.

Deputy Harkin told the Minister a realistic and proactive solution to the flooding had to be found as, otherwise, it would be a recurring emergency.

In his response, Minister Donohue said that he had heard Deputy Harkin’s points, but that in relation to problems at Jamestown, and to her specific questions, he would have to write to her answering the points she had raised.