Thursday, 20 June 2019

Ceisteanna (19, 37)

Thomas Pringle

Ceist:

19. Deputy Thomas Pringle asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform if he will meet with a group (details supplied) and public representatives to address ongoing flood defence concerns and the lack of information regarding the timeline for the building of flood defences; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [25647/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Thomas Pringle

Ceist:

37. Deputy Thomas Pringle asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform when the OPW will announce the next list of capital works flood schemes under the ten year programme of investment; if Buncrana, County Donegal will be part of the list; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [25646/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Public)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 19 and 37 together.

I am happy to say that the Office of Public Works and Donegal County Council have been working constructively to address flooding issues across Donegal and I am very satisfied with the progress that has been made on the implementation of new flood relief schemes in the County since I announced, in May 2018, 29 Flood Risk Management Plans for all the main river basins. A total of 118 flood relief projects were identified in these Plans to protect the main flood risk areas throughout the country. 15 of these projects are in County Donegal, including a proposed project to address flooding in Buncrana..

These Plans and projects are a key part of the overall flood risk management strategy set out in the National Development Plan 2017 - 2028 involving total investment of almost €1 billion over the ten year time frame of that Plan. As I have mentioned in replies to previous questions on this matter, there is a significant resource commitment involved in the delivery of such an ambitious programme of investment nationally and it is not possible to implement all of the 118 projects at the one time. Therefore it has been necessary to prioritise a total of 57 projects across different Counties for the initial tranche of investment based on the level of risk and number of properties to be protected.

Following consultation and discussions between the OPW and Donegal County Council, six of the 15 Donegal projects have been identified to be progressed in the first phase of implementation. Steering Groups for the projects have been established and much work is being done to make preparations for the appointment of consultants over the coming months for these projects.

The proposed project for Buncrana is not in the initial tranche of projects to be advanced but I can assure the Deputy that the OPW and Donegal County Council will work closely to ensure that the project will be progressed as early as possible in the coming years and within the 10 year timeframe for the national programme of investment.

I am always happy to meet with residents and community groups in relation to flooding issues and I am sure that suitable arrangements can be made in that regard for Buncrana.