Residents told it's 'now or never' on flood-defence plan
Published 08/11/2011 | 05:00
IT'S now or never for the new flood defences planned for a north Dublin suburb.
Council executive manager Tom Leahy warned yesterday the new reduced size plan for the embankment had to be approved within weeks or else the project faced being mothballed for at least another eight years.
Mr Leahy warned: "The people, properties and businesses of Clontarf are at a high risk of serious flooding from the sea.
He insisted that the new flood wall design, which has had its height reduced by an average of one foot, would protect the residents of Clontarf from extreme flooding.
"The reduced levels will improve the sea views, but anything lower would not protect the people of Clontarf from floods. This is all about protecting their homes, their lives and their livelihoods."
A report to city councillors last night warned that while funding was available for the flood works in 2011 from the Office of Public works, "this funding may not be available subsequently due to review of all government capital funding".
"It could require six to eight years to get back to where we are now, even if there is a willingness on the part of the two funding agencies to fund a complete abandonment of the current project and a total redesign," the report states.
Mr Leahy also recalled yesterday how he stood in the home of Maureen Ryan, the late mother of late RTE star Gerry Ryan, after it was badly flooded in November 2006.
"She said to me: 'Please come up with some solution to protect us from flooding'."
He told the Irish Independent: " She said that to me in her house which was in darkness, and the floorboards had been ripped up. Her house was flooded and it was just devastating."
Under the new flood-defence plans, controversial grass-mound embankments to protect the northside Dublin coastal stretch from flooding have been reduced in size to appease local residents.