Flooding still on agenda as Rathkeale area committee meets for last time

Colm Ward


Colm Ward

At the last Rathkeale Electoral Area committee meeting were, from left, Michael OBrien, housing engineer, Karen Butler, secretary for the meeting, Cllr Stephen Keary, Cllr David Naughton, Cllr John Sheahan, Cllr Kevin Sheahan, Barry Martin, area manager (retired ), Gerard Liston, roads engineer and Trevor McKechnie, senior executive engineer  [Picture: Dave Gaynor]
Flooding, dog fouling, sewage and dumping were among the items on the agenda for the last monthly meeting of the Rathkeale electoral area committee.

Flooding, dog fouling, sewage and dumping were among the items on the agenda for the last monthly meeting of the Rathkeale electoral area committee.

Following a redrawing of the election boundaries for the upcoming local elections, the area will now become part of the larger Adare-Rathkeale electoral area.

Two of the four sitting councillors - Stephen Keary and Kevin Sheahan - are standing for election in the new area, while the present cathaoirleach John Sheahan will run in the Newcastle West electoral area.

Fine Gael’s Cllr David Naughton will not be contesting the local elections as he has taken the decision to retire. Cllr Naughton has been a member of Limerick County Council since 1991 and served as cathaoirleach of the council from 2009 to 2010.

Speaking at the final meeting, Cllr John Sheahan said the upcoming elections to the combined Limerick city and county local authority would bring 115 years of history to a close for Limerick County Council.

He praised the members of the current Rathkeale electoral area committee for the way in which they had worked for their constituents. “This committee has worked, in my estimation, extremely well,” he said.

“Councillors had the ethos of throwing politics out the window and getting the business done for the people of the Rathkeale electoral area.”

Cllr Kevin Sheahan congratulated Cllr Sheahan for his work as cathaoirleach.

“There was never a difficulty here between political parties and councillors. Everyone worked for the best interest of the people,” he said.

However, he added that he was “very disappointed” that there was no update on funding to repair damage caused in the area by flooding earlier in the year.

Referring to a promise given by Minister Brian Hayes that funding would be made available for flood defence measures when he visited Foynes following the flooding of the town in January, Cllr Sheahan said: “I think Brian Hayes was sincere on the day in question, but the money hasn’t come and the people are concerned”.

Cllr David Naughton said that the damage caused to the embankments at Ballysteen by the flooding needed to be addressed. Some 50-60 acres of land were flooded when high tides caused water to overflow the embankments in January and February.

Following the meeting, there was a special presentation to Barry Martin, the retired area engineer, on behalf of the members.

Cllr John Sheahan said of Mr Martin: “He was always very fair and impartial in his dealings with the councillors and he was held in very high regard by all the members.”