Council meets with OPW over Lough Funshinagh

Senior officials from the Office of Public Works met with the Chief Executive of Roscommon County Council and the local authority’s senior engineer last week to discuss a viable solution to the flood risk posed by Lough Fushinagh.

Addressing members at Monday’s meeting of the local authority, CEO Eugene Cummins described the meeting as “very positive” and praised the “supreme and continued effort” of Minister Patrick O’Donovan and the OPW. He said the OPW was committed to further meetings but called for the Minister and other officials to be given time to make progress on the matter.

The issue was raised in the Dáil yesterday (Wednesday) when local TD Denis Naughten called for direct Government intervention to address what he described as “a humanitarian crisis” faced by eight families in the Ballagh and Lisphelim area of south Roscommon.

Deputy Naughten had raised a motion calling for a cross-departmental task force to address emergency climate adaptation measures in order to protect homes nationwide without which, he said, families may be forced to relocate.

“In the middle of a housing emergency, the very last things we should be doing is demolishing homes,” he said.

“Will the Government commit to bringing all State players together to address the present legal impasse to flood alleviation works?”

Responding to Deputy Naughten, Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Michael McGrath said work was ongoing within Government to address the issue.

Minister McGrath said certain matters had been referred to Minister for Housing Darragh O’Brien and that OPW officials were available for discussions.

The Minister also confirmed the OPW’s meeting with the Council’s CEO last Monday and said further meetings were being scheduled.

“The Minister of State, Deputy (Patrick) O’Donovan, has assured the council of his and the OPW’s continued support for the council as it works to find a solution to manage the flood risk at Lough Funshinagh,” he said.

A public meeting to discuss the future of Lough Funshinagh’s communities will take place at 7 pm on Monday next (4th) in St. John’s Community Centre in Lecarrow.