Watch: Brendan Howlin tours badly affected areas in Enniscorthy by boat
Published 30/12/2015 | 15:35
Public Expenditure Minister Brendan Howlin has said he hopes construction on a new flood defence system in Enniscorthy will begin in 2016.
Parts of the town are currently submerged in a deluge of murky contaminated water after the River Slaney burst its bank.
A €40m flood-defence scheme has been earmarked and approved for the town - which is prone to flooding - for some years. However, a number of objections have seen the project stall on a number of occasions.
As part of the new scheme a bridge built to cross the Slaney in 1991 would have to be knocked down and a new one built further down the river.
Speaking to the Irish Independent in Enniscorthy today Mr Howlin said the Seamus Rafter Bridge would have to go as it was "acting more like a dam than a bridge."
The Wexford TD said the bridge did not fulfil its purpose adding that it was a "waste" of the taxpayers money in its current capacity.
At the time the crossing cost over £1m Irish Punts.
A bridge built in 1680 closely is not know to flood at all.
Mr Howlin toured the badly affected areas in the town by boat this morning where he said locals were definitely taking on the rising waters.
He said that business owners and residents in the area were "stoic" when it came to facing the deluge.
Meanwhile, Minister for State Paul Kehoe has assisted in drafting in the army to help deal with the situation in his hometown where the floods are being described as the worst seen since the 60s.
A number of people had to be rescued from their homes via boat earlier today after the river burst its banks.
Up to 12 ground floor apartments at Templeshannon Quay and the Promenade were evacuated shortly after 8am.