News that an overflow pipe will be constructed at Lough Funshinagh in Co. Roscommon has received a broad welcome from all sides, including TDs and farm organisations.

Roscommon-Galway TD Michael Fitzmaurice said that it was a very welcome development and “at least there is some light at the end of the tunnel”.

He said that for local farmers and landowners around Lough Funshinagh, the “stress and anxiety they have had to endure in recent months is immeasurable as they tried to keep water from entering their homes”.

“Common sense has finally prevailed in this scenario… An overflow pipe would be the only solution, otherwise the level of the lough would continue to rise, engulfing more land and flooding more homes in the process.

“Thankfully, everyone now is singing from the one hymn sheet and work can get underway as soon as possible,” Fitzmaurice added.

The independent TD also acknowledged the work of Minister of State at the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform Patrick O’Donovan, as well as former Minister of State Kevin ‘Boxer’ Moran in bringing the plan forward.

“I understand that the OPW [Office of Public Works] is prepared to provide machinery and manpower to facilitate the flood mitigation works and that progress will be made imminently,” Fitzmaurice highlighted.

He also paid tribute to the locals and public representatives who have lobbied for an overflow pipe, citing by name Ivan Connaughton and Sinead Beattie.

“Homeowners have had to keep pumps running constantly and farmers have been at their wits’ end trying to house and feed livestock – with some having to sell off some of their animals. I would encourage the OPW and the county council to progress with the works as a matter of haste,” he concluded.

This sentiment was echoed by the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA), with the association’s Roscommon chairperson saying: “This work must get underway immediately, and there must be no further delays in completing this emergency project.”

Jim O’Connor acknowledged the work of Roscommon County Council, as well as the “enormous local community spirit”.