Concern over the lack of drainage work on roads throughout East Clare has been expressed by local councillors.
Councillor Joe Cooney claimed at a Killaloe Electoral Area meeting recently that very little drainage works had been completed by the local authority on roads.
Acknowledging the council had carried out some very good improvement works, he also criticised the reduction of 14 workers in the number of council outdoor road staff in recent years.
He was supported by Councillor Pat Hayes, who proposed that a planned programme of road and drainage and cleaning of outlets be put in place to protect the council’s investment in roads over the years.
Councillor Hayes asked if land owners are entitled to let water from their land run out onto public roads and suggested every assistance should be provided by the council to prevent this from happening.
“Drainage problems seem to be an ongoing issue. The council needs to put a programme in place to alleviate flooding problems and damage to the road network,” he said.
Councillor Cathal Crowe claimed a lot of minor roads become akin to “canals” following prolonged periods of heavy rainfall.
He stressed this could be alleviated by opening up gullies regularly and carrying out flooding preventative works.
Senior executive engineer Séan Lenihan told councillors that drainage works and cleaning of outlets are the main part of their maintenance programme at this stage of the year and it is currently allocating considerable resources to alleviate flooding problems and damage to the road network.
Mr Lenihan pledged to continue to carry out this work within available resources and with a particular focus on the works scheduled in next year’s programme.
In addition to the reduction of 14 for the road crew, he confirmed one or two more are expected to retire in the very near future and the national recruitment embargo prevented the authority from replacing these staff.
“With such a drop in staff and an expected reduction in funding in the coming year, it will not be possible to resolve all maintenance issues that can arise from time to time. Certain jobs will have to be prioritised, with the upcoming roadworks programme to the fore.
“Drainage is a huge issue for the council. Landowners are not allowed to permit water flow out onto a public road. I can appreciate that any landowner doesn’t want to see their own land flooded and the council is more than happy to work with a land owner to try and resolve a particular problem,” he said.