Thursday 21 June 2018

'You can't totally solve the problem in the city'

Seaweed is cleared from the Salthill Promenade, Galway, after Storm Eleanor’s
passage. Picture: PA
Seaweed is cleared from the Salthill Promenade, Galway, after Storm Eleanor’s passage. Picture: PA
Caroline Crawford

Caroline Crawford

Galway City Council CEO Brendan McGrath has warned that flood defences will not totally solve the city's problem.

He said that as a coastal city with a medieval section, the water would continue to rise in places.

Speaking to the Irish Independent, he said that despite the best efforts of officials, nothing could solve this problem.

"The permanent flood defences will definitely help, they will alleviate a significant portion of the problem.

County council workers leave sand bags out in the street for locals to take for flood
protection against high tide
County council workers leave sand bags out in the street for locals to take for flood protection against high tide

"But in a coastal city that is surrounded by a lake to the north and the fastest flowing river in Ireland through the middle of it and three canals, can you totally solve the problem? The answer is no. Unfortuntately you can't protect every single property," he added.

The Minister with responsibility for Flood Relief, Kevin 'Boxer' Moran said Galway would be a priority when it comes to funding flood defences.

But Mr McGrath said: "We have the medieval part of the city. The sea used to flow there previously, the tidal levels come in underneath this ground and the drainage in parts of this city goes back to medieval times. So flood defences will protect significant portions of the city but it will not totally solve every single piece of the problem.

"Can we give a guarantee that we can protect every single property, the answer unfortunately would be no?" he added.

However, he insisted the measures were still needed to protect as much of the coastal city as possible.

"The works that are likely to be proposed and the protections put in place will go a long way towards protecting the majority.

"We are pushing for this. We have had discussions with the office of public works and the minister has indicated the flood mapping for the entire country is to be finalised by the end of January, there will be a priority list drawn up from that for investment, I would expect Galway to be included in that," he added.

Irish Independent

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