Fianna Fáil TD Eugene Murphy has said the Government’s “inaction” in terms of maintenance of the River Shannon has led to increased difficulties with serious flooding problems beginning to escalate.
As Fianna Fáil spokesperson on the OPW and Flood Relief, Deputy Murphy has highlighted the fact that water levels at Lough Ree are up 50mm, Athlone downstream is up 70mm while Banagher is up 90mm, after several heavy days and nights of rainfall in the middle of March.
“I acknowledge that Minister ‘Boxer’ Moran is attempting to be proactive on the issue, but the Government’s response has been abysmal, with little or no maintenance work being carried out on the River Shannon in recent times.
“We had a very dry summer last year and that was the opportunity to carry out maintenance works but it seems that flooding needs to escalate or reach crisis levels before the Government takes action.
“An agreement was to be made between the Government and Bord na Mona in terms of removing silt and peat deposits, yet that has not proceeded.
“Maintenance of the River Shannon needs to be expedited – it is vital that increased capacity is provided in the River Shannon,” concluded Deputy Murphy.