Tuesday, 27 January 2004

Questions (884)

Denis Naughten

Question:

1006 Mr. Naughten asked the Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs if he will ensure that Meelick Weir is fully opened to alleviate the flooding south of Athlone; when debris was last removed from the vicinity of the weir; if he will ensure that such maintenance takes place on a regular basis; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2056/04]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs)

The issue raised by the Deputy in relation to Meelick Weir is the day to day responsibility of Waterways Ireland, a North/South Implementation Body for inland waterways, set up under the British-Irish Agreement.

Waterways Ireland informs me that all sluices at Meelick Weir and the Marlborough Cut have been fully open since 23 November 2003. All weir boards were removed by 13 November 2003. When all the weir boards have been removed and all the sluices have been opened, Waterways Ireland has no further control on water levels.

Debris was last removed from the vicinity of the weir on 8 July 2003 and no debris has accumulated since. Waterways Ireland monitors this weir regularly.