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Dart works not to blame for flooding

Massive flooding to the Ballsbridge area last October was not caused by construction works at the Dart bridge, a report commissioned by Irish Rail has found.

Local residents and their insurance representatives had claimed that scaffolding in the Dodder river had caused tree branches and debris to lodge under the bridge, producing a dam effect and leading to widespread local flooding.

Nearly 300 properties were damaged in Ballsbridge when the Dodder burst its banks during the massive rains.

Around 260 cars were written off when they were submerged in the car park of a nearby apartment complex, while the Marian swimming pool was flooded and has been closed since.

The bridge had to be closed for emergency works after the flooding.

But a report commissioned by the rail company found that the blockage of debris caused the water to erode the river bed and therefore increase the water flow of the river under the bridge.


This slightly reduced the amount of flooding in the surrounding area, the report found.

The investigation was led by hydrology expert Professor Eamon McKeogh who also led the investigation in the collapse of the Malahide viaduct in August 2009.

In that incident, two rush-hour commuter trains packed with hundreds of passengers were just seconds away from disaster when a 20-metre section of track dramatically plunged into the water moments after they passed over it on the main Dublin to Belfast line -- just seconds after a driver pulled into Malahide station in north Dublin.

But in relation to the Ballsbridge flooding, local Labour TD Kevin Humphries still maintained that the rail company still bears part of the responsibility for the flooding.

He said that the scour-effect to the river bed occurred after the debris had caused flooding upstream.