Lough Funshinagh at ‘all-time high’ and rising

Water levels at Lough Funshinagh in Rahara are at an all-time high and continuing to rise as local residents and landowners work desperately to save their homes and farmyards.

Cllr. Laurence Fallon said that one local family has had to abandon their home while two more remain under serious threat.

“If it wasn’t for serious action taken by residents and work crews, another home would be under water this evening. One farmyard has been flooded since last year while another remains under threat.

“This is a very desperate situation with no sign of any let up. The water levels will only go one way between now and Easter,” he said.

Local farmer, Padraig Beattie, whose home is in immediate danger, says it’s the worst flooding he has seen in the area.

“Roscommon County Council has a pump set up since Tuesday and it has to be kept on at all times.

“My land flooded in 2016 but it was never as bad as this. I have eight or nine acres under water while my neighbour has twenty-five (submerged). My biggest problem is the yard, I’m lambing in March but I hope the yard is still there by then.

“I also live with my mother, who is nearly 70-years-old and she found it tough to watch our neighbours clearing out their home.

“We knew back last summer that the levels weren’t going down and we were heading for major problems this winter,” he said.

On the day when the Minister for Agriculture, Charlie McConalogue and the Minister for the Office of Public Works, Patrick O’Donovan, met to discuss the issue, Padraig called on the Government to intervene.

“If I was in their shoes (Ministers’), I’d be embarrassed. The lough is desecrated as a Special Area of Conservation and all the species at the edge of the lake are gone.

“They can’t leave it the way it is because eventually it will flood more houses and farmyards, where there’s slurry, diesel and everything else which will pollute the Shannon,” he said.

Independent TD Denis Naughten confirmed to the Roscommon People on Wednesday that he would be raising the matter at the Dáil this afternoon (Thursday).

“There has been no update so far following the meeting between Ministers McConalogue and O’Donovan. I will be raising this issue in the Dáil on Thursday afternoon. What we need now is a clear indication from State agencies that they are prepared to engage with homeowners and stakeholders in a constructive manner in terms of finding an adequate solution,” he said.