‘No flora and fauna’ attracted to River Shannon as ‘it is so badly maintained’

There is “no flora and fauna” attracted to the River Shannon as “it is so badly maintained” according to Roscommon-Galway TD Claire Kerrane.

Last week, deputies Sorca Clarke, Violet-Anne Wynne and Claire Kerrane introduced the River Shannon Management Agency Bill 2020 to the Dáil, an act to “create a single competent authority to co-ordinate flood risk and management”.

Longford–Westmeath TD Sorca Clarke said that the threat posed by the River Shannon flooding continues to “affect communities with a detrimental impact on local areas”.

“Data shows there has been an increase in the pattern of flooding over the last 60 years and there is categorical evidence that the floods are getting bigger,” she said.

“These events threaten homes, farming lands and businesses and erode the quality of life in rural Ireland and jeopardise its very existence.

“It is time there was a single agency tasked with management of all aspects of the River Shannon.

The threat posed continues to affect communities with a detrimental impact on local areas. What we need now is effective management, prevention, protection and preparedness.

Deputy Claire Kerrane said there are many people living along the river and that “everyone is sick and tired of the floods hitting and the politicians coming out on their boats to have photographs taken and to say how awful it is”.

“The politicians go away, the floods recede and that is the end of it. Then the floods come again and again,” she continued.

“Families, businesses and farmers are affected and we really need to shout ‘stop’ because it keeps happening.

“The River Shannon needs to be maintained and managed and that is not happening. Pinch points have been identified and we have had report after report. I do not suggest we should drain the Shannon.

“I am advocating that people should go to those pinch points and clear it out. I suggest we should manage and maintain it.”

‘There is no flora and fauna’

The deputy said that there is no flora and fauna because “they are not attracted to the river anymore as it is so badly maintained”.

“I am aware environmental concerns are often raised and cited when it comes to this issue, such as protection of the flora and fauna and so on. We are now at the stage, however, where there is no flora and fauna.

“Many parts along the river are in a poor state and I believe maintenance would improve the position of the flora and the fauna.

We must put people first on this issue, that is: farmers; families; and businesses who have been flooded repeatedly.

“In some cases, homes have been absolutely destroyed and families have not been able to return and live in them again.”