Local TD Denis Naughten has expressed disappointment that Heritage Minister Malcolm Noonan TD has no plans to visit the community at Lough Funshinagh to see the environmental devastation for himself.
The invitation to visit had been extended by his colleague Patrick O’Donovan TD, Minister for the Office of Public Works, in the context of the ongoing work to secure planning authorisation for the completion of the overflow pipe from the lake.
“What is going on around Lough Funshinagh is an environmental disaster and you can only appreciate its significance when you see it on the ground,” said Denis Naughten.
“While this is disappointing for those families in County Roscommon who are on the brink of having their homes washed away, this also has implications for many more communities throughout the country in the future.
“Because of the legal challenges associated with the emergency flood relief works at Lough Funshinagh, we are left in a situation where this has now set a precedent for other similar emergency works across the country,” said Denis Naughten. “The legal barriers which have been highlighted through two court injunctions have serious implications for many communities.
“These are communities that will sadly, over the coming years, find themselves in a similar situation to that of the community in Ballagh, where its very survival is threatened by our changing climate.
“The issues that need to be addressed are clearly set out in a letter sent to the Minister of State, Deputy O’Donovan, dated 19 May, by the Cathaoirleach and Chief Executive of Roscommon County Council which sets out five very clear asks.
“To address these actions requires coordination right across Government, which does not seem to be forthcoming with the failure of Minister Noonan to take up the request from his Government colleague to visit the area.”
Concluding Denis Naughten pointed out: “We need action now, not just for the families in County Roscommon but for other families who will face similar climate-related crises in the years to come.”
Thursday, 19 January 2023
Ceisteanna Eile – Other Questions
Flood Risk Management
Denis Naughten I am grateful for the opportunity. Following on from that question on planning challenges, there is a blockage at the moment in respect of carrying out climate adaptation measures that impact on communities and on our environment. The blockage is Lough Funshinagh in County Roscommon which the Minister of State has visited. Has he engaged or spoken with the Minister with responsibility for the National Parks and Wildlife Service, NPWS, about visiting and seeing the situation in Lough Funshinagh and trying to undo this blockage for all communities across the country that are dependent on these works?
Patrick O’Donovan (Limerick County, Fine Gael)
To take Deputy Naughten’s question first, “yes” is the simple answer and “I do not know” is the other part of the answer. We have engaged with the NPWS. We cannot talk about Lough Funshinagh without talking about the special area of conservation. The first of the climate migrants in County Roscommon have left their homes. People talked about climate migration in this Dáil yesterday like something that was just happening in the northern Sahara. It is happening in our own country.
Tuesday, 31 January 2023
Department of Housing, Planning, and Local Government
ORIGIONAL QUESTION: To ask the Minister for Heritage if he has been requested to visit Lough Funshinagh Co Roscommon by the Minister for the OPW; if he has agreed to such a site visit; when he intends to visit and if he will make a statement on the matter
Denis Naughten (Roscommon-Galway, Independent)
- To ask the Minister for Housing, Planning, and Local Government if he has been requested to visit Lough Funshinagh, County Roscommon, by the Minister of State responsible for the OPW; if he has agreed to such a site visit; when he intends to visit; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [4302/23]
Darragh O’Brien (Dublin Fingal, Fianna Fail)
I have no proposals to visit the site at this time.