Wednesday 23 January 2019

Rathbraughan flood wall gets funding from 'Boxer'

Sorcha Crowley

A 400m long flood wall for Rathbraughan has finally secured funding from the Government.

Minister of State for the OPW and Flood Relief Kevin 'Boxer' Moran included the Sligo town project in his Flood Risk Management Plans announced last Thursday in Athlone.

The proposed measure for Rathbraughan includes the construction of a 415m long embankment 1.2m high to store flood water in storms.

This will have a controlled outfall to prevent flooding of properties downstream, including the Woodlands Estate and Mowlam Nursing Home.

The wall is estimated to cost less than ¤1 million approximately.

As part of his announcement of €257 million for 50 new Flood Relief Schemes, Minister Moran is giving ¤14 million to 19 local authorities, including Sligo County Council, to start delivering 31 of these flood prevention schemes.

An Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar was present at the announcement of a first tranche of funding for detailed design and construction of the projects.

The funding for Rathbraughan was welcomed by Sligo County Councillor Marie Casserly.

"I had to fight hard for it. It took a lot to get it in. I'm delighted for the residents. It's great for everyone - the Mowlam nursing home, the residents and Sligo County Council. It means each time there's heavy rain they won't have to send out teams to the area," she told The Sligo Champion.

"I was lobbying for a long time for it. Even when other areas of Sligo town weren't affected by heavy rain, this area was affected," she said.

The CEO of Mowlam Nursing Home gave the following reaction:

Minister Moran said: "This Government has provided €1 billion for investment in flood risk management measures over the coming decade.

"The Flood Risk Management Plans published today allow the Government to build on significant investment on flood defence schemes, since 1995, which has delivered 42 major flood relief schemes around the country.

"These schemes successfully provide protection to 9,500 properties and the economic benefit to the State in damage and losses avoided are estimated at €1.9 billion. There are currently also 9 major schemes under construction and a further 24 at design/development which together will provide protection to a further 12,000 properties," he said.

Through the Office of Public Works' (OPW) Catchment Flood Risk Assessment and Management (CFRAM) Programme, detailed engineering analysis, assessment and extensive public consultation has been undertaken for those 300 identified communities, including 90 coastal areas, that in 2012 were, at that time, considered most likely to be impacted by future flooding.

The details of the flood risk and proposed feasible measures for Sligo are set out in 29 Flood Risk Management Plans, one for each river basin, that have been recently approved by Minister for Finance and Public Expenditure and Reform, Paschal Donohoe.

Minister Moran also launched a new website, where people can view the community risk and measures in place, underway and now proposed to tackle flood risk in these 300 areas, and nationally.

Speaking at the launch, the Taoiseach said: "Today we are announcing 118 new flood relief schemes, of which 50 will be advanced in the initial phase to detailed design and construction with investment of more than €250 million. The Government is committed to the delivery of these Plans." An OPW spokesperson told this newspaper they would prioritise the schemes "as soon as possible."

Sligo Champion