Dáil report seeks practical action on Shannon flooding
A Dáil Committee has today called on the National Parks & Wildlife Service (NPWS) to facilitate the immediate cleaning of silt from the River Shannon or face possible action from the European Commission.
The Dáil Environment Committee called for action from the NPWS pointing out that the state agency and ultimately the taxpayer is facing the possibility of court action and fines from the European Commission for its failure to protect the corncrake and other wading birds in the Shannon Callows.
Local TD, Denis Naughten, one of the Dáil authors of the report said that “Unless there is immediate, active & constructive engagement by the National Parks and Wildlife Service, there is a strong possibility that the NPWS to the European Commission for its abject failure in engaging with other stake holders in order to protect the internationally endangered Corncrake.
It is clear from all discussions held with stakeholders in the Shannon Callows that there is a serious problem with the flow of the river between Banagher and Mellick weir. This bottle neck is forcing the river Suck back, flooding the Callows and restricting the ability of flood water to flow out of the Callows area.
While it must be recognised that the majority of stake holders accept the need to address this problem and also acknowledge that the OPW has attempted to address the matter, it must be noted that these actions have been impeded by the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS).
“It is clear that the failure by the NPWS to constructively engage on this issue with other stake holders has had a detrimental impact on the survival of the Corncrake within the Shannon Callows” continued Denis Naughten.
“In total the Dáil Environment Committee made 8 recommendations including a proposal to flood cut away bog north of Lough Ree to ease flooding of the Shannon and the immediate need to review the operational water levels on the river and its lakes” said Denis Naughten.