IN the wake of recent flooding in Limerick and Clare, residents opposed to the construction of the Northern Distributor Road have told councillors who backed the scheme to ask themselves: “Did I do the right thing?”.
In an open letter, Henry O’Boyle, a member of the Northern Distributor Road Concerned Residents Group has also asked councillors in the Banner – a majority of whom voted in favour of the €150m route – whether they would consider reviewing the latest county development plan which includes the road.
The link has been opposed by residents in both counties Limerick and Clare, who cite a loss in value to their homes, increased traffic, and most pertinently of all in recent weeks, the increased risk of flooding.
Indeed, the Mountshannon Road in Limerick, where the route will pass through, has been submerged in recent weeks due to the inclement weather.
In Clare, the Northern Distributor Road would effectively divide Parteen village in half, and also cover the outskirts of Clonlara, which has been hit worst by local floods.
In the letter, Mr O’Boyle wrote: “With the River Shannon in flood and Parteen Weir releasing more water to the lower Shannon basin, many homes will be abandoned over the New Year. It must also be remembered the Shannon river is not the only local river: there is the Mulcair and Blackwater rivers as well and these contribute to the flooding.”
He continued: “Look around you councillors, at the various floods, and the impact these motorways and new roads have on the locality. These areas have flooded in the past, and this was highlighted to you all, and instead of addressing flooding, the majority of you decided to build on a floodplain. How smart is this?”
And he concluded that the silence of councillors who voted in favour of the route is “equally audible as the roar of the floodwaters”.
While Clare councillors have backed the route by a majority, the reverse was the case in Limerick.