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Councillor Alan O'Callaghan

Heading for ‘roads up in the clouds’

Care County Council could end up with “roads up in the clouds”, if it continues to raise roads affected by flooding, instead of looking at drainage alternatives, a local councillor has claimed.

Flood remedial works on the outskirts of Newmarket-on-Fergus have created problems in other areas in the locality, according to Councillor Alan O’Callaghan.

Councillor O’Callaghan told  a recent Killaloe Municipal District meeting that in the region of €300,000 was spent on raising a road in Ballycar to facilitate access for a number of houses, which the householders really appreciated.

However, he pointed out that this road was still blocked with water 100 yards further on, which resulted in another portion being raised on two successive occasions.

“While works needed to be done on these roads, the bigger picture here is drainage. Or are we going to end up with roads up in the clouds?

“Eighty percent of the water could be alleviated, if drains and culverts were being opened. Or are we going to keep going up higher?”

Councillor Joe Cooney said people were well aware of the flooding in Ballycar, Newmarket-on-Fergus, and wondered was there any allocation in the road’s programme to deal with this problem.

The Fine Gael councillor told the meeting he was getting a lot of phone calls about the state of the road from Kilmurry down to Sixmilebridge Mart.

Expressing concern that more than 200 acres of land in the Ballycar area is covered by water, he asked who is responsible for addressing this flooding. “One farmer has said that once he takes his cattle out of his shed, he will have to take them straight to a mart because he has no where to put them,” he said.

Senior engineer, Tom Tiernan said the situation in Ballycar was an exacerbation of the flooding levels that were reached in 2009.

Mr Tiernan insisted that the works carried out by the council did not transfer the problem to another part in the locality because this problem evolved purely because the flood levels were so high.

“The reason the work was done in Ballycar was because there were a few houses that were completely cut off. There was no way in from one side or the other,” he explained.
Mr Tiernan said the council had spent years hoping that Irish Rail, in association with the OPW, would have found a more permanent solution to the flooding affecting the railway line.

Over the last few years, the senior engineer said, both parties were brought together at the instigation of the council with a view to clarifying what they intended to do to address this problem. He said it was accepted at this meeting that Irish Rail would have to take the lead in addressing this problem and it was confirmed that the company had commissioned a consultant to complete a feasibility study to devise the best solution.

Dan Danaher

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