Limerick council ‘disappointed’ with Waterways Ireland claims

Fintan Walsh

Reporter:

Fintan Walsh

The Park Locke gates which had to be forced open. Picture: Liam Burke/Press 22
LIMERICK City and County Council has expressed its “disappointment” with comments made by Waterways Ireland in relation to flooding that caused damage to a number of houses in Corbally over the weekend.

LIMERICK City and County Council has expressed its “disappointment” with comments made by Waterways Ireland in relation to flooding that caused damage to a number of houses in Corbally over the weekend.

Limerick’s local authority issued a statement in response to Waterways Ireland noting that the body was “the authority solely responsible for the management and maintenance of the Park Canal” which flooded on Saturday after “technical difficulties” with the Park Locke gates.

There were subsequently calls for an inquiry after several houses and a school in the Corbally area were flooded as a result of a surge of water in the Shannon and Mulkear rivers, causing the canal to burst its banks.

Waterways Ireland issued a statement on Monday defending its position, explaining that it had released water from the Park Canal on Thursday and Friday and had agreed with Limerick City and County Council that over the weekend the Council would “monitor levels in the Park Canal and release water as appropriate”.

“Keys to the gates and contact details of Waterways Ireland personnel were provided to the Council,” it outlined.

On Saturday evening, the canal was full and over-topping, after the release of water.

“The Council responded to reports on Saturday evening that the canal was full and over-topping. Attempts were made by the Council Engineer on site to open the gates with the keys that were left with the Authority,” said the authority.

“The gates failed to respond and contact was immediately made with Waterways Ireland. As Waterways Ireland were not immediately available attempts were made by Council Engineers and the Fire Service to open the canal gates.

“The Council deployed an excavator to prise the canal gates open, an action that subsequently resulted in a lowering of water levels and the gradual alleviation of flooding in the area,” it added.

Council officials and Waterways Ireland will meet later today, and will request that Waterways Ireland “immediately review” its management and operation of the canal, and to “publicly outline its plans so as to reassure residents and businesses in the area affected by flooding”.