‘Dredging of River Shannon can proceed’

Local politicians in Brussels meeting

A delegation of local politicians were told by the European Commission on Wednesday that dredging of various flood-hit waterways can proceed.

  The cross-party meeting in Brussels was organised by MEP Luke ‘Ming’ Flanagan, while local Independent TDs Denis Naughten and Michael Fitzmaurice were also present, along with MEP Marian Harkin.

  ‘Ming’ felt the meeting was necessary because of claims that there were limitations over what flood relief could be done.

  He said that people felt that EU directives were preventing very necessary work taking place during what he called a ‘national emergency’.

  However, local politicians said that they received assurances that certain dredging could be done to local waterways, including the Shannon.

  Deputy Naughten said: “The commission said that it is possible to do dredging as part of an overall plan, and that the commission have no principle objecting to that as part of an overall process.

  “You can carry out emergency works, and they will also allow for dredging where there is an overwhelming public interest to carry it out, including flood of homes and so worth.”

  Deputy Fitzmaurice also said that the meeting was “constructive” and that some “misconceptions” were allayed.

  “In the line of emergency works, if there is people in trouble, there is no reason why you cannot do work, in the line of turloughs or whatever,” he said. “It is not going to damage the turlough. They don’t appear to have a problem.”