Tuesday, 17 September 2019

Questions (138)

Robert Troy


138. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the status of works carried out in both urban and rural areas along the Shannon to alleviate flooding. [36958/19]

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Written answers (Question to Public)

On 3rd May, 2018, I was delighted to launch 29 Flood Risk Management Plans and €1bn investment in flood risk over the coming decade.  These Plans are the output from the Catchment Flood Risk Assessment and Management (CFRAM) Programme - the largest ever flood risk study carried out in the State.  The Plans set out the measures proposed to address the flood risk nationally, and include 19 new flood relief schemes to protect towns in the catchment of the Shannon River in particular, in addition to the scheme underway in Athlone due to be completed in 2021.

Flood Relief Works have already been completed in a number of areas in Limerick City , including Clancy’s Stand and Harry’s Mall (mid 2000’s) and Howley’s Quay (2012).

In King’s Island (Limerick City), funding was provided by the Office of Public Works to Limerick City and County Council for preliminary flood defences involving the construction of sheet piling behind an embankment, completed in 2014, and for advance works flood defence works on Verdant Place, completed in 2017.  Consultants were appointed in 2015 to develop the permanent flood relief scheme for King’s Island and it is estimated that the full scheme will protect approximately 450 residential and 23 commercial properties.  Limerick City and County Council is scheduled to lodge a planning application with An Bord Pleanála later this year, with an anticipated construction completion date approximately two years thereafter.

In Athlone (Co. Westmeath), the Office of Public Works (OPW) and Westmeath County Council (WCC) are working together to advance flood relief works for the town with WCC as the Contracting Authority and OPW funding the costs of the works in addition to undertaking the construction works with its own workforce.  Engineering consultants were appointed in April 2017, to identify appropriate flood risk alleviation measures for Athlone.  The Option Appraisal Report identified eight discrete cells of flood defence works. These flood cells are each being progressed individually under Part 8 or Part 10 of the Planning and Development Regulations.  It is anticipated that the construction works for the Athlone Flood Alleviation Scheme will be completed during 2021. 

Consultants have also been commissioned by the OPW and/or the relevant Local Authority to undertake the design, development and planning of Flood Relief Schemes in Springfield (Co. Clare) and Castleconnell (Co. Limerick).  Procurement is scheduled to commence in the coming months to appoint Engineering Consultants for the design, development and planning of Flood Relief Schemes in Limerick City & Environs, Leitrim Village and Carrick-on-Shannon (Co. Leitrim), and Killaloe/Ballina (Co. Clare/Tipperary).  It is intended to progress the development of flood relief schemes in Dromod (Co. Leitrim) and Portumna (Co. Galway) within the lifetime of the National Development Plan 2018 to 2027.

The Government also established the Shannon Flood Risk State Agency Co-ordination Working Group in 2016 to support existing plans in place to address flooding on the Shannon and to enhance the ongoing co-operation of all State Agencies involved with the River Shannon.  The Group has taken a number of significant decisions since its establishment, including targeted maintenance activities at a number of locations, trialling the lowering of the levels on Lough Allen, studies to explore managing flood risk at the Callows and a study on the cause, degree and rate of restriction downstream of Parteen Weir.  The Group is also considering a feasible long term maintenance programme for the River Shannon.