Deputy Pearse Doherty has raised the issue of flood defence and mitigation works in Donegal with the Minister for State with responsibility for the Office of Public Works, Patrick O’Donovan.
The Donegal Sinn Féin TD said that flooding remains a very real problem and a serious risk for many homes and businesses across the county.
In particular, Deputy Doherty sought updates on works in respect of the following towns and villages:
“In September, I had asked about the status of the catchment and flood risk management, CFRAM, flood risk management plan for Donegal town; the progress on the implementation of same that has been made to date and the funding that has been allocated to the scheme to date,” he said.
“In his reply, the Minister for State acknowledged that the works were being planned for, but that the proposed project for Donegal town is not in the first phase of projects to be progressed. The OPW and Donegal County Council are working closely to ensure that it will be commenced as early as possible in the current programme of investment.”
Lifford, Burnfoot and Castlefin (bundled) and Ballybofey-Stranorlar, Buncrana-Luddan and Ramelton (bundled)
“In relation to flood defences in the above towns, the OPW has bundled these towns together,” Deputy Doherty explained.
“The Minister previously confirmed to me that fifteen projects were identified in County Donegal under the Flood Risk Management Plans announced in May 2018. The Minister said that six of the Donegal projects were selected and are being progressed in the first phase of implementation, in addition to a project already being progressed for Raphoe.
“The Minister also confirmed that consultants have been appointed for the design of projects for Lifford, Burnfoot and Castlefin (the latter two bundled together) and the council is in the process of procuring design consultants for Ballybofey-Stranorlar, Buncrana-Luddan and Ramelton (also in a bundled format).”
Back in 2019, the then Minister for State, Kevin Boxer Moran, visited the Clady River in Bunbeg, following severe flooding which swept a bridge away and left a family cut off and unable to access their home by vehicle.
“Emergency funding was promised for minor works needed not only to fix the bridge (which had been swept away on a number of previous occasions), but also to undertake flood defence works further up the Clady river so that this type of deluge and devastation could be avoided in the future.
“The family were left to repair the bridge themselves. I understand that Donegal County Council and the OPW have never progressed the application for funding for the upstream flood mitigation. Today, I asked the Minister for State to make enquiries about this, to ensure that this application is progressed and to provide an update on this work.”