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More dredging needed to reduce risk in Clonlara

More dredging is needed near Castletroy in Limerick to significantly reduce the risk of a repeat of the havoc created by flooding for residents in South-East Clare last November, according to a resident. The Office of Public Works (OPW) carried out some remedial works to remove sediment deposited over the years at the confluence point of the Old River Shannon and its Mulcair tributary in Clonlara last year.
However, Fergal Marrinan, who was part of a delegation who met then Minister of State Tom Parlon in March 2007, claims a wider channel needs to be dug to prevent a repeat of the flooding, which caused devastation in Clonlara.
Describing the most recent flooding as much worse than the previous incidence in December 2006, Mr Marrinan said that the scale of the remedial work carried out on the Old River Shannon wasn’t sufficient to prevent a repeat of the flooding.
He hoped that the OPW would conduct a review of the work they had carried out in view of the most recent flooding in Springfield, which caused extensive damage for local residents.
The establishment of a new steering group following the meeting between Minister Parlon and local Dáil deputies was hailed at the time as the long-awaited breakthrough to finally resolving the chronic flooding problems endured by residents in the area.
Minister Parlon said at the time that he was aware of the devastation caused to local residents in the area and was committed to finding a long-term solution to the problem.
There has also been calls from local councillors that one statutory body should be given the responsibility for the management and control of the entire River Shannon to replace the existing multiplicity of agencies involved in the river.
Councillors claimed at a recent council meeting that no single statutory body was prepared to accept total responsibility for solving issues such as the Clonlara flooding.
The OPW has confirmed that tree  felling and excavation works were undertaken by the agency on  the Old River Shannon, at Castletroy, Limerick. The works included the removal of in excess of 800 trees to create a 30m corridor through the islands/deposits, which have resulted in significant encroachment into the river, and the excavation of a 20m base width flood relief channel within this corridor to provide additional conveyance capacity.
“These works, in conjunction with works by the local authority, would have alleviated inundation of properties and facilitated access to other properties in Springfield for flood events similar to that of December 2006.
“It should be highlighted that the November 2009 event was the largest since the inception of the Shannon hydroelectric scheme and that localised river works such as those undertaken at Castletroy would not alleviate flooding to the Springfiled area, which has a history of flooding, during extreme events.
“There are no plans for flood protection works at Springfield, Clonlara at present, the OPW has, however, indicated to the local authority that it will consider further applications for funding for works arising from the recent flooding,” said an OPW spokesman.


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