‘Seven farm families will have to leave flooded Roscommon land’ – Murphy

Fianna Fáil senator Eugene Murphy has called on the relevant ministers to engage with all stakeholders to find a solution to the ongoing flooding issues in relation to Lough Funshinagh in Co. Roscommon.

He raised the matter in the Seanad this week imploring the government to “save the people of the area from desperation”.

“I visited the area at the weekend and to say that this flooding has had a severe impact in the area is an understatement; people are in a desperate situation,” senator Murphy said.

This turlough has expanded and expanded since 2016 and we are now at a situation whereby at least seven families will have to leave their houses and farmlands – that’s the gravity of the situation.

Agricultural land

The Roscommon-based senator said that the affected area is a farming area, and many farmers have cattle or sheep on land or in sheds.

“I know Minister [of State for the Office of Public Works] O’Donovan and Minister [for Agriculture] McConalogue met last week in relation to the matter and I had a brief meeting with Minister McConalogue this week in relation to the matter,” he said.

“This is a desperate plea – the ministers need to get the OPW, the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS), residents and stakeholders together to move this forward – this can be solved.

“Lough Funshinagh was the case of the disappearing lake but now it’s the ever-expanding lake and we are acutely aware of the ongoing flooding issues in the area.

The OPW [has] turned down the proposal to build an outflow drainage pipe at the lake as [it claims] it could have serious ecological effects on the turlough – but what about the serious effect the flooding is having on landowners and local residents? They are the victims in all of this.

Senator Murphy said that if the water levels keep rising many people will have to be relocated.

“The OPW stated that there was ‘no viable cost effective or sustainable solutions to alleviate flooding’- it is amazing that despite all the experts from engineers to geologists that no viable solution can be found.

“It’s simply not good enough to leave things in limbo in this manner,” concluded senator Murphy.