€9 million plan to dredge River Shannon gets underway

Funding of approximately €9 million has been provided by the Office of Public Works (OPW) for measures to alleviate the risk of flooding on the River Shannon.

The funding was announced yesterday (Monday, November 6) by the Minister of State for the Office of Public Works and Flood Relief, Kevin ‘Boxer’ Moran.

Minister Moran was in Co. Leitrim yesterday where he discussed arrangements for the advancement of flood relief schemes in the county, as well as other initiatives to better manage flood risk on the River Shannon.

Commenting on the allocation of the funding, the Minister said that he, along with Leitrim County Council, had “mapped a way forward” for the advancement of flood relief schemes in the county.

It was also pointed out that targeted maintenance – in the form of dredging and the removal of debris – is either underway or has been completed at three locations along the river.

Patrick Kent, the president of the Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers’ Association (ICSA), has welcomed the funding saying: “The efficient movement of the River Shannon is key to reducing the risk of flooding.

“For too many years we have been witnessing the devastation caused by poor management of this vitally important waterway.

Homes and livelihoods have literally been washed away as report, after report, piled up on managing the River Shannon.

Kent stated that this “reassurance” by the Minister that the necessary works might finally get up and running is “welcome news indeed”.

“I would urge that these efforts be expanded and that the targeting of pinch points should now be given priority,” he said.

Kent concluded by outlining that people “should not have to wait” for additional reports from consultants for this to happen.