Minister pledges ‘full support’ for Gort flood victims

A Galway East TD has pledged his “full support” for communities that have been affected by flooding around Gort, Co. Galway.

The Minister for Rural Affairs, Seán Canney, outlined his support as he visited various locations in the Gort lowlands area to see the flooding first hand and meet with Galway County Council officials.

He said: “My resolve in finding solutions is undiminished and I assure the affected communities of my full support.

More than €3.5 million has been spent on minor flood relief works in Co. Galway since 2016.

“Some [drainage] schemes like Kiltiernan-Ballinderreen, which was completed before Christmas, have proved to be good investments and are working well,” the Galway TD explained.

Minister Canney added: “I instigated the Gort Lowlands Flood Relief Scheme when I was minister for the Office of Public Works (OPW).

“I am disappointed that the feasibility study for the scheme has been delayed but the council officials have assured me that the report will be ready in April.

“It is a unique scheme and the study has taken longer than envisaged to complete the scientific analysis required to deliver an engineering solution.

I want to assure the people of Gort that I will continue to work to bring the project to fruition and ensure that the necessary funding is provided by the next government.

Concluding, Minister Canney expressed his concern that the Government has had to pay a €5 million fine over ‘the Derrybrien debacle’ and faces penalties of €15,000 a day until an environmental impact assessment is completed.

He noted: “That money could have been better spent on flood relief schemes.”