23 May 2018, 18.00

Finding a solution to regular flooding of the rail line between Galway and Limerick is now firmly on the agenda following Wednesday’s meeting of the Joint Committee on Rural and Community Development.

Witnesses from key agencies agreed at the conclusion of the hearing to work together on drafting a plan to mitigate the problems experienced for many years on the Ballycar stretch of the line, said Committee Chairman Joe Carey.

“During the hearing, Committee members expressed frustration with the various stakeholders for approaching the well-documented flooding problem in a disjointed manner,” Deputy Carey said.

Three participants in Wednesday’s meeting – the Office of Public Works, Clare County Council and Iarnród Éireann – agreed to form a working group that will draft a joint plan for mitigating the floodwater problems. This working group will report back to the Committee by November, Carey said.

Wednesday’s hearing began with a detailed explanation from the Geological Survey of Ireland of the reasons for the groundwater flooding. A frank exchange of views followed between Committee members and witnesses about the lack of coordination to date. The discussion potential technical solutions included improved drainage, diversion of inflows, and raising the railway track.

All parties agreed that the working group would liaise with the Geological Survey, the National Parks and Wildlife Service and the Irish Aviation Authority as part of their efforts. Representatives of all three groups attended Wednesday’s hearing.

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Committee membership

Deputies

Fine Gael

Independent

Joe Carey - Chair

Fine Gael

Independent

Sinn Féin

Fianna Fáil

Fianna Fáil

Senators

Fine Gael

Fine Gael

Green Party