Minister calls for dredging of Shannon
A government minister has said the windfall from the economic recovery should be used to dredge a number of the country's key rivers, including the Shannon and the Suir.
The dredging of river beds is often at the centre of controversy due to a number of legal restrictions, some of which are imposed at EU level.
However, the recent flood damage caused by Storms Desmond and Frank has led to calls for the issue of dredging to be seriously examined.
Speaking to the Irish Independent, Fine Gael minister Tom Hayes said he believed the proceeds of our economic growth should be invested into dredging.
Mr Hayes, who is the Minister for State at the Department of Agriculture, singled out the rivers Shannon and Suir for future dredging programmes. The Suir runs through Mr Hayes's own constituency of Tipperary.
"It's very costly. But overall, it's money well worth spending and that's the kind of money we can spend now with the economy growing," he added.
Mr Hayes's call for a dredging programme came as Sinn Féin joined the demands for a single authority to manage the river Shannon.
The issue will be voted on in the Dáil in the coming weeks after a motion was tabled by Fianna Fáil TD for Longford/Westmeath Robert Troy.