Clonmel Flood Defence Scheme

Clonmel Scheme1

River widening and compound channel at Burke Park

Clonmel Town suffered severe flooding on a regular basis from the River Suir and also from tributary streams – the Whitening Stream and the Auk Streams. Most severe flooding occurred in 1995, 1996, 1997 and 2000, 2004, 2008 and twice in 2009.

The Office of Public Works has worked with South Tipperary County Council, Clonmel Borough Council and Waterford County Council on a Steering Group which was formed to drive forward the process of developing and implementing a flood relief scheme for the town which would be economically viable and environmentally acceptable and which would offer the standard level of protection against a flood with a 1% probability of occurring in a given year, more commonly called the 100 year flood event. In relation to climate change, the adaptive approach has been taken so that the defences can be raised in the future to accommodate a 20% increase in design flow.

Consultants, Mott MacDonald Ireland, were appointed in 2003 to carry out the design of a flood relief scheme for Clonmel. It was subsequently announced that a Flood Relief Scheme would be proceeded with and constructed in 3 phases; West, North and East. Public Exhibition of the total Clonmel Scheme was held, for one month, in Summer 2005 at the Town Hall in Clonmel. The full scheme was divided into three distinct Schemes to ensure a ‌speedy delivery of works. The detailed design of the Clonmel West Scheme commenced in 2006. Works commenced in August 2007 and were substantially complete in May 2010. Works included tree felling, the building of sheet piled and reinforced concrete walls, building of embankments and pumping stations, alterations and improvements to the drainage system, the placing of a contract for demountable defences and other ancillary works. Certain remaining flood relief works relating to the Clonmel West scheme (mainly in the convent road area) were carried out during 2013.

In September 2008, work commenced on the detailed design of the remaining phases for the town, incorporating both the Clonmel North and Clonmel East Schemes, which were constructed simultaneously. Works on these phases commenced in September 2010 and were substantially completed in November 2012. The works on this phase also included new sheet piled and reinforced concrete walls and embankments, new culverts, some channel widening, the replacement of two bridges and repairs to a further bridge, pumping stations and alterations and improvements to the drainage system. Again, provision was made for the erection of demountable defences. The overall scheme for Clonmel has benefitted approximately 500 properties. The effectiveness of the scheme depends on the erection of the demountable defences by Clonmel Borough Council staff upon receipt of a flood warning from the Flood Forecasting System developed by the OPW.

Clonmel Scheme2

New flood wall at Quay

Design/Construction Teams

Design Team:

Mott MacDonald Ireland Ltd

Construction Team – Clonmel West:

SIAC Ltd – Main Civil Engineering Contract

Joe Kenny Plant Hire - Convent Road Works Contract

Construction Team – Clonmel North & East:

Ward and Burke Construction Ltd – Main Civil Engineering Contract


Relevant Documentation

Public Exhibition Documents June - July 2005

Confirmation of Schemes by Minister for Finance