Rising levels force elderly couple to leave their home

A couple in their eighties have been forced to leave their home at Ballagh, Rahara due to the rising water levels at Lough Funshinagh.

Edward John (82) and Teresa Beattie (81) were forced to move out of their home on Tuesday evening, according to Cllr. Laurence Fallon, who said they were left with no other option.

“Edward John and Teresa Beattie had to leave their home earlier this week as the water continued to rise close by. They are lucky, if anyone can be lucky in this situation, that they have been able to relocate to a house nearby, however,” he said.

Cllr. Fallon added that recent correspondence from the Office of Public Works was a “big step forward” in terms of the long-term plan of installing an overflow pipe in the area.

Earlier this week, Roscommon County Council CEO Eugene Cummins received a response from Minister of State Patrick O’Donovan following his letter to the office of the OPW last week.

Deputy O’Donovan advised Mr. Cummins that the local authority would have to initiate a planning process in relation to an overflow pipe at Lough Funshinagh and convene a meeting of all relevant State bodies.

He assured the local authority that the Government would provide “every support and assistance possible to alleviate the plight of the community in the vicinity of the Lough”.

Commenting on the OPW letter, Cllr. Fallon said: “The way I see it, the OPW has agreed that funding should be made available for the works. They have asked the council to bring all the relevant bodies together and once all obstacles have been overcome, the funding would then be available,” he said.

Cllr. Fallon also paid tribute to the local community and Roscommon County Council staff for their “tireless efforts” in keeping the floodwater back from local homes and farmyards.

“In terms of the Special Area of Conservation (SAC) and Natural Heritage Area (NHA) designation, all we want to do is to put the lake back to within the outer boundaries of the of the NHA.

“By reducing the lake from where it is now and restoring the land lost to local farmers, we can allow the lake to flourish once again,” he said.