Sen Kieran O'Donnell and Cllr Michael Murphy
THE TAP has been turned on for flood relief works in Castleconnell, it has been announced.
Sen Kieran O'Donnell and newly elected Castleconnell councillor Michael Murphy have been informed by the council that design and planning consultants for the flood relief protection scheme for the village will be appointed “very shortly”.
This comes after a formal tendering process undertaken by the council.
“The funding is in place. Castleconnell will have proper flood defences,” stated Sen O’Donnell.
He and Cllr Murphy have been working to ensure these flood relief measures progress as quickly as possible.
Following a visit by OPW and flood reliefs minister Kevin “Boxer” Moran to Castleconnell on December 1, 2017, which Senator O’Donnell arranged, the village was prioritised for flood relief measures. €720,000 was allocated by the OPW later that same month to get the much needed project underway.
Senator O’Donnell said this followed a long campaign by himself and locals, including Cllr Murphy.
“Incredibly the draft OPW CFRAMS (Catchment Flood Risk Assessment & Management) report published in 2016 did not include any flood relief measures for Castleconnell village on the basis that the OPW were of the view that there was no flood risk to properties, despite the fact that the village had suffered severe flooding twice in recent years, in 2009 and early 2016 respectively,” said Senator O’Donnell.
Following an OPW public consultation meeting on the draft CFAMS report in the Castle Oaks House Hotel on September 1, 2016, Senator O’Donnell secured a commitment from the OPW to reassess and prepare flood relief plans for Castleconnell. These were made available for public consultation in the Castle Oaks on March 23, 2017 and were then included in the final CFAMS report published in April 2018.
“The flood relief project is now formally underway and this is very welcome news for the people of Castleconnell who have suffered severe flooding twice in the last ten years in 2009 and 2016. It is imperative that proper permanent flood defences are constructed to protect the homes and businesses in the village. We know first-hand of the terrible ordeal people had to endure with the floods.
“These design and planning consultants will take the project through An Bord Pleannala as well as supervise the construction of the flood relief measures when they are being constructed by the appointed contractors,” said Senator O’Donnell. Flood relief measures are planned to stretch along the Shannon river from Castleconnell Boat Club onto the village, by the Spa wall and down to the Ferrybank.
“It is expected that the planning process, which will involve public consultations on the plans with locals in Castleconnell, will take approximately 18 months, followed by tendering and appointment of contractors to construct the flood relief works. We would encourage locals to review the formal plans when they go on public display and attend consultation meetings.
“Also, the council advise us that they will shortly be going out to tender for design and planning consultants in respect of flood relief measures for the adjoining areas of Mountshannon road and Annacotty village. Also, the council and OPW is looking at flood relief options for Montpelier,” said Senator O’Donnell.
Cllr Murphy said: “Living all my life in the area, I know first-hand the impact flooding has had on the lives of people residing and working in Castleconnell. Therefore, having worked with my colleague Senator O’Donnell on this flood relief project, I am particularly pleased that the formal design and planning process is now underway.”