South Donegal Flooding Works must be Delivered – Doherty
Sinn Féin Finance Spokesperson Deputy Pearse Doherty has urged all bodies responsible for the delivery of proposed flood prevention measures in South Donegal to work jointly to ensure that the works aren’t needlessly delayed.
Deputy Doherty’s comments come following confirmation from both the OPW and Donegal County Council that an application for the flood mitigation works has yet to be finalised due to the absence of an environmental impact assessment screening report into the plans.
Deputy Doherty has welcomed a commitment from Donegal County Council that an application will be submitted once an ecologist has been appointed to prepare the report, but he has urged all bodies to fully co-operate to ensure that adequate flood prevention measures are put in place to protect against future flooding.
Deputy Doherty said:
“Following several episodes of flooding in South Donegal this winter, I have been contacted by a number of residents, businesses and community groups throughout the region and I have listened to their over the area’s inadequate protection against flood waters.
“I have since taken up the issue with both the Office of Public Works and Donegal County Council as I understand that both bodies met in late January to discuss flooding in South Donegal as well as to explore the possibility of drawing down funding from the OPW’s Minor Flood Mitigation Works and Coastal Protection Scheme.
“The scheme provides financial assistance to Local Authorities to undertake minor flood mitigation works which will help prevent localised flooding in instances where a solution can be achieved within a short time frame.
“However, following correspondence which I’ve received from both the OPW and Donegal County Council, it’s been confirmed that an application for this funding hasn’t been made yet, with the Local Authority citing the delay is due to the absence of an assessment screening report for the project.
“While I very much welcome a commitment from Donegal County Council that an application for the scheme will be made once an ecologist is appointed to prepare the document, it is now vital that all competent bodies take a joined up approach as part of these proposals to ensure that the necessary measures are delivered speedily to prevent future flooding in the south of the county.
“I have been informed that it’s expected that submissions of interest from ecologists to carry out the assessment will close next week, and this should allow this process to progress further.
“Communities in South Donegal were particularly hard hit during the most recent winter floods, while homes and business in areas such as Murvagh and Ballintra today continue to count the cost of these floods.
“It’s therefore crucial that these works are completed and are in place to give communities some level of protection against future flood waters and afford them some peace of mind going forward.”