Monday, January 11, 2021

A meeting of all of the key stakeholders to explore measures to address the ongoing threat of flooding within the vicinity Lough Funshinagh is to be convened by the Minister for the Office of Public Works, Patrick O’Donovan TD.

The Minister has agreed to the request by Deputy Denis Naughten, which was made following the continual rise of flood waters over the Christmas and revised flood data provided by Cllr. Laurence Fallon. This indicates that 2021 could be the most challenging year to date in managing water levels on the Lough.

“On behalf of Cllr. Laurence Fallon, I have been engaging with Minister O’Donovan and the Minister for Agriculture, Minister McConalogue, over the last number of months since the publication of report on the flooding of Lough Funshinagh. Over the Christmas period I was in direct contact with both Ministers due to the changing situation on the ground.

“The meeting that is now to be convened is expected to include all of the key players including the OPW, Department of Agriculture, Roscommon County Council, National Parks & Wildlife Service and the Geological Survey of Ireland which has been monitoring the situation on Lough Funshinagh over the last five years.

“As a result of this meeting, I would expect a request to go to Government to reopen the Voluntary Home Relocation Scheme, the establishment of a farmyard relocation scheme, measures to help address the farming challenges within the catchment of the Lough and a review of the original Cost Benefit Analysis.”

Denis Naughten added: “With further heavy rains promised over the coming days it is imperative that we see urgent action to help address the plight of families within the vicinity of Lough Funshinagh.

“In the last few days, I have received the following reply from Minister O’Donovan, as a result of my previous engagement with him prior to the recent exacerbation of the flooding situation in which he says: ‘In relation to Lough Funshinagh, a range of flood mitigation options were considered. It was determined that the options were not economically or environmentally sustainable. It remains open to Roscommon County Council to make an application under the Minor Works Flood Mitigation Scheme should further measures be identified in the future that meet the scheme criteria to mitigate flooding. I would add that those property-owners in the locality of the Lough who have applied for the Voluntary Homeowners Relocation Scheme are being advanced through this scheme’.

“He goes on in his reply to reference my engagement with him over the Christmas period stating: ‘With regard to your further correspondence in recent days on this very issue it is proposed to hold meetings with all relevant stakeholders and my office I will be in touch separately regarding a potential round table meeting of all relevant stakeholders’.”

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