Minister Moran welcomes further initiatives to help assess and address flood risk along the Shannon

5 November 18

Speaking today following a meeting with Leitrim County Council, the Minister of State for the Office of Public Works and Flood Relief, Mr. Kevin ‘Boxer’ Moran T.D. complimented Leitrim and all Local Authorities for working with the Office of Public Works and taking a proactive approach to address flood risk in their areas as part of the €1bn investment in flood risk measures over the coming decade. 

The Minister said, "I am delighted to be here in Leitrim today and to meet with Leitrim County Council to discuss arrangements for the advancement of flood relief schemes in the county and the various other initiatives to better manage flood risk on the Shannon.  We had a very good meeting and we agreed the way in which the flood relief schemes will be progressed for Carrick-on-Shannon, Leitrim, Mohill and Dromod. The schemes will be advanced by Leitrim County Council as the lead agency working in collaboration with the OPW.  Funding of approximately €9 million will be provided by the OPW for the capital cost of the schemes as part of the Government’s investment of €1 billion on flood relief over the next decade under Project Ireland 2040 to support Leitrim County Council in the implementation of the projects."

The Minister went on to say, "Good progress has been made to date between the OPW and Local Authorities in agreeing the arrangements to progress the schemes nationally to ensure that the delivery of flood relief solutions in the shortest possible timeframe and here today we have mapped a way forward for the advancement of flood relief schemes in Leitrim. I look forward to the delivery of the schemes for the benefit of the affected communities in Leitrim."

The Minister also took the opportunity to set out the other co-ordinated initiatives by members of the Shannon Flood Risk State Agency Co-ordination Working Group, to help to further manage the flood risk for those living and working near the River Shannon. At its meeting on 12th October, the Group was updated on the targeted maintenance activities involving the removal of silt and emergent vegetation and the removal of trees, in three locations. These works will enhance the conveyance capacity and navigation along the River Shannon. The Group at its next biannual meeting will consider a planned programme of similar works in the future.

The Group also agreed to:

  • Consultants are being appointed to examine the removal of the pinchpoints resulting in lower summer water levels through the Shannon Callows, to help address the summer flooding in this area while maintaining the appropriate navigation requirements.
  • Consultants are also being appointed for a study on the cause, degree and rate of restriction downstream of Parteen Weir, and
  • pilot again this winter the lowering of lake levels in Lough Allen to help alleviate any significant flooding event that may occur. The Group is also completing an environmental assessment of this pilot to help inform any decision to target a reduction in lake levels.

Minister Moran said, "Together with my announcement on 3rd May this year for 34 new flood relief projects to protect towns and villages along the Shannon, these initiatives will help to open up our towns and villages for further investment and economic benefit."

Ahead of the launch of 'Be Winter Ready' this week, the Minister highlighted that the recruitment of the specialised expertise to support the development of the National Flood Forecasting Service is well advanced. The five-year development plan for the establishment of this critical service is being implemented by Met Eireann, the OPW and local authorities. "When established this service will be a significant resource to support the management of flood risk, especially those areas that it is not feasible to protect through major flood relief schemes", the Minister said.

-ENDS-

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Notes to Editors

The Shannon Flood Risk State Agency Co-ordination Working Group was established by the Government in January 2016 to enhance on-going co-operation across all of the State Agencies involved with the River Shannon. It held its first meeting on 1 February, 2016.  The membership of the Group are detailed below.

Targeted maintenance works involving the removal of silt and emergent vegetation have now been completed Muckinish which is close to the New Cut.  Further similar works have commenced at the New Cut at Breaninch and tree cutting has been completed at Shannon Grove (Kilnaborris).

Membership of the Shannon Flood Risk State Agency Co-Ordination Working Group

Members of the Group are at CEO level or equivalent with the following State Agencies:

  • The Office of Public Works
  • Local Authorities, represented by the County and City Management Association
  • Waterways Ireland
  • Electricity Supply Board
  • Inland Fisheries Ireland
  • Department of Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government
  • Department of Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs
  • Bord na Móna
  • Environmental Protection Agency
  • Irish Water

Full terms of reference for the Group are available on the OPW website.

Papers from Working Group Meetings.

Documentation, including the Agenda, Minutes and other material relating to meetings of the Group is available on the OPW website - www.opw.ie