independent

Tuesday 16 September 2014

Ballylongford locals fear further flooding

Donal Nolan

Published 20/08/2014 | 05:36

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Members of the Ballylongford Flooding Committee who are still calling on the Government to provide funding for a permanent scheme that would protect the village.

BALLYLONGFORD remains wide open to flooding ahead of high tides next month with no plans for a permanent structure to protect the village in place.

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BALLYLONGFORD remains wide open to flooding ahead of high tides next month with no plans for a permanent structure to protect the village in place.

Floodwaters surged to a height of up to four feet in homes when the local river burst its banks on two separate occasions; the worst flooding taking place on Saturday, February 1, last amid terrifying scenes for residents.

Flooding occurs in Ballylongford when high tides coincide with Atlantic storm surges, driving the water back up the Ballyline River.

Local county councillor Liam Purtill managed to secure large, one-tonne sandbags to protect the bank of the Ballyline at its weakest point behind the parish hall but locals are adamant a permanent structure is needed.

Now, the committee formed to fight for greater protection is calling on Kerry County Council and the State to come to the rescue of Ballylongford with adequate funding that would take care of the problem once and for all.

"We're still wide open to flooding with very high tides on the way again next month and in the winter," Chairman of the Ballylongford Enterprise Company Noel Lynch said. "The banks need to be raised permanently over quite a long distance through the village so as to protect Bridge Street. Kerry County Council is aware that this is what is needed, but as far as we're aware nothing has happened to get it done."

Local man Brian Finucane - a member of the People Before Profit Alliance - said the people of the west of Ireland are being left at the mercy of the Atlantic tides by the State.

"I'm very concerned at the way in which the people living on the west coast of Ireland are being left out in the cold, so to speak, by our Government and our representatives in Europe. Serious high tides are due again from September on and my concern is that very little has been done to address the situation in all the time since the previous, disastrous flooding."

"We are calling on those in power to redeem themselves by putting the people of the west coast first. If they can put hundreds of millions into Ireland's largest quango - Irish Water - surely they can put the same level of funding into saving the Irish coastline and its residents."

Kerryman

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