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Independent.ie

Wednesday 24 April 2019

Office of Public Works agrees to test Shannon weir after flooding

John Mulligan

John Mulligan

The Office of Public Works (OPW) has agreed to carry out tests at Meelick weir, Co Offaly in an attempt to minimise flooding of farmland along the Shannon callows.

Thousands of acres were flooded in June this year, resulting in the loss of both silage crops and summer grazing.

Local farmers claimed that a failure to open sluices and lift weir boards at Meelick weir contributed to the flooding.

Waterways Ireland denied the allegation, pointing out that nothing could prevent the flooding once water levels 'topped' the weir.

concerns

However, following a meeting between Minister Brian Hayes and representatives from the OPW, Waterways Ireland and ESB last week, it was agreed that farmers' concerns would be taken on board.

Calibration tests at Meelick weir will be fast-tracked and weir boards will be lifted and flows measured to see whether this could help reduce the impact of flooding in the future.

The testing will be part of a wider study on how best to manage flooding risks in the Shannon catchment area.

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The initial mapping element of this study is due for delivery in 2013, and the complete Shannon Catchment Flood Risk Assessment and Management Study (CFRAMS) will be completed in 2015.

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