Tuesday, 10 February 2004

Ceisteanna (137)

Trevor Sargent

Ceist:

213 Mr. Sargent asked the Minister for Finance the progress made towards flood prevention in Clonmel; the likely timetable; and the role of the OPW. [3747/04]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Minister for Finance)

A flood relief scheme for the River Suir — Clonmel — has been brought to outline design stage and was placed on public exhibition, as required under the Arterial Drainage Acts, in December 2001-January 2002. The next stage in the progression of the scheme is to consider and respond to the large number of observations received following the public exhibition.

The Deputy will be aware that in November 2002 I initiated a major review of the State's approach to flooding with the primary objective of developing a cohesive national flooding policy in the future. That report is currently being considered by Departments before being submitted to the Government in the very near future. The recommendations of the review group will have an important influence on the whole flood management area in the future, and I am confident that the recommendations will, in the long term, substantially mitigate the impact of flooding on Irish society.

The timescale for progression of the proposed scheme in Clonmel is dependant on resolution of all issues arising from the public exhibition and consideration of issues arising from the policy review. I assure the Deputy that Clonmel has a high priority in the OPW flood relief programme and that every effort is being made, in conjunction with the relevant local authorities, to ensure that the scheme is progressed as quickly as possible.