Although Minister of State with special responsibility for the Office of Public Works, Brian Hayes, confirmed the approval of w15,000 in flood relief funding for the Manorhamilton area during his visit to Co Leitrim on Monday, he acknowledged that finding a solution to the ongoing flooding of the Shannon River Basin is a complex issue which will require substantial study and co-operation between all interested groups.
Speaking during his visit to the county, Minister Hayes addressed businesses and residents affected by flooding in Carrick-on-Shannon and Leitrim Village in 2009. He also spokes with local councillors, senators and deputies Frank Feighan and Tony McLoughlin and Senator Michael Comiskey before travelling to Dromahair to speak with local councillors on ongoing flooding concerns in the north of the county.
With water levels on the Shannon River already significantly higher than usual it was obvious that more measures were needed to protect homes and businesses in the area. Issues such as ESB control over water levels and keeping levels high during the closed boating season as well as the need for greater co-operation between the vested bodies along the Shannon were all raised with the Minister. Councillors also noted the impact of silt levels in the Shannon and stressed the devastating impact recent flooding had on communities living along the Shannon in particular.
Director of Services with Leitrim County Council, John McGuinness acknowledged that over w200,000 in minor flood relief funding had been allocated to projects in parts of the county already but said there was a clear need for further investment to prevent further flooding in the future.
“While these works have relieved some issues with backwater it doesn’t deal with the fundamental issue which is the flooding of the Shannon,” he admitted, adding that the Council was also concerned about water levels in Lough Allen.
“While we know that water levels on the Shannon have to be kept higher in the Summer navigation season perhaps this can be revisited during the Winter months,” he suggested.
See this week’s Leitrim Observer for the full story.