State agencies join forces to tackle Foynes flooding threat

The scene in Foynes when the Shannon broke its banks in January 2014.
The scene in Foynes when the Shannon broke its banks in January 2014.

THE first ever meeting of all State agencies responsible for Foynes has resulted in a cohesive approach to the maintenance of the local water infrastructure.

That’s according to Minister of State Patrick O’Donovan, who said that Irish Water, Limerick City and County Council and Coillte are now working together to find the most effective way of cleaning the twin pipeline for the Foynes-Shannon Estuary Water Scheme.

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The meeting, which was coordinated by Minister O’Donovan, focused on flood prevention strategies and was attended by officials from the local authority, Coillte, OPW, Irish Water, Shannon Foynes Port Company as well as representatives of local business and community organisations.

“Flash flooding has been an intermittent but serious issue in Foynes, with the most recent instance having a devastating effect on the Flying Boat Museum and other local businesses in 2017,” the Fine Gael TD explained.

“While a €2.3 million tidal defence barrier built in 2016 provided reprieve from tidal flooding during storms and large swells, there remained on-going concern about potential flooding from another source, and from blocked pipes and culverts. The flood in 2017 proved the concerns were not without foundation.”

“It is often difficult to ascertain which public body is responsible for different elements of the water and flood relief infrastructure. This is particularly frustrating for local people, business owners and community organisations who fear further flooding if the infrastructure is not carefully cleaned and maintained.”

“The meeting held in Foynes was extremely positive with each group and public body playing their part.

“I look forward to even more cooperation and progressive work from all the Foynes based state agencies in the future, and I am committed to facilitating any future meeting of these bodies, and ensure them of my continued support,” Minister O’Donovan concluded.