Local TD Denis Naughten has welcomed the progress made to remove pinch points on the River Shannon which will help to address flooding within the river’s catchment particularly in the Shannon and Suck Callows.
Denis Naughten commented following the outline of work by Minister Boxer Moran of the Shannon Flood Risk State Agency Co-ordination Working Group, which was established to help to further manage the flood risk for those living and working near the River Shannon.
This Group, through targeted maintenance activities involving the removal of silt and emergent vegetation and the removal of trees in three locations, is improving the flow of water and navigation along the River Shannon, particularly south of the towns of Athlone and Ballinasloe.
“Over the last 2.5 years I supported the members of the Group who came under the authority of my own Department, namely the Electricity Supply Board, Inland Fisheries Ireland, Bord na Mona and the Environmental Protection Agency. And I actively encouraged them to provide solutions rather than barriers to works on the River Shannon,” explained Denis Naughten.
“It must be remembered that this is the first Government since the foundation of the Irish State to actually remove silt from the River Shannon and I hope now this work has started that a regular maintenance programme will continue on the Shannon in the years to come.
The work of this group continues with consultants now being appointed to examine the removal of the pinch points 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.
Further work is to investigate the cause, degree and rate of restriction downstream of Parteen Weir.
“Work is ongoing again this winter on the lowering of lake levels in Lough Allen to help alleviate any significant flooding event that may occur. This is following on the work of the late Nicky McFadden TD, the IFA, then Minister Brian Hayes and I to initially lower the operational level of Lough Ree,” explained Denis Naughten.
“Finally, I want to compliment Minister Boxer Moran on his work in addressing flooding in the Shannon Catchment and working with him as Minister for the OPW over the last 2.5 years we have made significant progress in helping to address the potential scale of flooding in local communities.”