GALWAY County Council has yet to submit an environmental impact statement (EIS) to An Bord Pleanála for a new flood-relief scheme for the Dunkellin River and the Aggard Stream.
A council official stated that finalising the scheme had “proved highly complex in engineering and environmental terms” but that hopes were high the local authority “will be in a position to submit the EIS to the Strategic Infrastructure Division of An Bord Pleanála at the earliest possible date”.
Councillor Gerry Finnerty raised the issue at a recent meeting of Galway County Council. He asked “when remedial works can begin on the Dunkellin drainage”.
He stated that remedial drainage works have taken place to the east of Rahasne Turlough.
“This has led to the turlough being at a higher level than normal for this time of year with many more areas of farmland in the catchment area of the Dunkellin being flooded due to drainage works carried out in the Kiltulla area as the Dunkellin river is the only outlet for this extra water,” Councillor Finnerty stated.
Galway County Council said drainage of other areas was not the reason for higher water levels in the turlough.
The local authority completed channel maintenance works on a 1.92km stretch of the Dooyertha River “from a point approximately 800m west of Ratty’s Bridge to a point approximately 200m east of Oldcastle Bridge, which is east of Craughwell Village and the Rahasane, Turlough. These river works were maintenance works consisting of the removal of obstructions to flows by dead wood, fallen trees, localised silt deposits, vegetation and other foreign debris,” explained county secretary Michael Owens.
“Given the distance of these works upstream from the Rahasane Turlough, it is unlikely that these minor maintenance works would have a significant influence on the water levels in the Rahasane Turlough.
Any increase in water levels is more likely due to the amount of rainfall over the past number of weeks,” he stated.
“Finalising this flood-relief scheme for the Dunkellin River and the Aggard Stream from Craughwell to Kilcolgan has proved highly complex in engineering and environmental terms and liaison with the stakeholders is ongoing. It is hoped that Galway County Council will be in a position to submit the EIS to the Strategic Infrastructure Division of An Bord Pleanála at the earliest possible date,” Mr Owens concluded.