Carrick-on-Shannon Municipal District (MD) councillor, Des Guckian has accused the government of failing to really tackle Shannon flooding over the last 11 years and has called for the Shannon to be deepened and dredged.
At the Carrick-on-Shannon MD meeting Cllr Guckian received backing for his motion that the MD to write to the Taoiseach and Tánaiste and the relevant Minister, "seeking to have the Shannon deepened at shallows, dredged where there are mud banks or bog silt banks and the River kept flowing as fast as possible, along its course, throughout the year."
Responding, Director of Services, Joseph Gilhooly noted that: "In order to tackle flooding on the Shannon flood risk management plans were prepared (CFRAMS) by the Office of Public Works (OPW). Arising from these studies allocations of funding for a significant flood relief scheme was received by Leitrim County Council along with allocations for a scheme in Leitrim Village with a review of proposed works in Mohill.
"The Council working with OPW and Roscommon County Council are progressing the detailed design of the Carrick-on-Shannon Scheme while consultants have also been appointed to the Leitrim Village Scheme with OPW review of Mohill ongoing," he added.
However Cllr Guckian pointed out that the flooding of 2009 had still not been properly addressed and said "nobody seems to have any intention to rush this at all."
He said the Shannon had been "dangerously high" during the last few months and asked "what will in an emergency?".
Cllr Sean McGowan noted the work that had been done to date to clear 'pinch points' along the Shannon but expressed concern that plans to put in place flood defence walls in Carrick-on-Shannon will "probably spread out the flooding affecting more farmland".
"I do think that the problems (with the flow of water) south of Athlone needs to be addressed".
Cllr Guckian agreed cleaning of the pinch points along the Shannon was welcome but stressed that "hidden bodies of silt and banks" under the water continue to have an impact on water levels.
"The only solution is to get the river level dredged and moving from here right down the Shannon," he said.