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Photograph by John Kelly

Yet another hurdle for Clare community’s flood relief scheme

FLOOD relief works that were due to begin in Springfield, Clonlara next week, have hit yet another hitch, it was revealed to council members last Monday (May 10).

The matter was raised by Councillor Michael Begley who ask officials for the revised completion date for the works, which were first mooted in 2016. The works, which are designed to finally remove the risk of severe flooding that has hung over the area for more than a decade-and-a-half, had already been dealt a blow by pandemic restrictions. There had been widespread relief at the prospect of them finally getting underway.

“We’re now waiting for two reports,” Councillor Begley noted, at the monthly meeting of Clare County Council. “One of those is from the hydrologists and the other will come from the consultants thereafter.”

Chief Executive Pat Dowling noted that the latest obstacle to the works is “quite new”. “A particular matter has arisen,” he said “We have to await the outcome. Our top priority is to speed things up, but the matter is changing hour-by-hour. We hope to get a result as soon as possible.”

Senior Engineer Seán Lenihan told the meeting that while the reports were awaited, “a clock has been put on it”. “We expect the hydrological report on Friday,” he outlined. “The consultant will then need a week or so to examine it and make recommendations. We will provide updates as soon as possible.”

Springfield has been hit several times by severe flooding, most recently in February of last year. Last November, An Bord Pleanála approved a proposed flood relief scheme which will include a flood protection embankment, land raising, penstock / sluice, a pumping station and associated works. The project will protect 18 residential properties and cost in the region of €1.3m to build.

About Fiona McGarry

Fiona McGarry joined The Clare Champion as a reporter after a four-year stint as producer of Morning Focus on Clare FM. Prior to that she worked for various radio, print and online titles, including Newstalk, Maximum Media and The Tuam Herald. Fiona’s media career began in her native Mayo when she joined Midwest Radio. She is the maker of a number of radio documentaries, funded by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI). She has also availed of the Simon Cumbers Media Fund to report on development issues supported by Irish Aid in Haiti. She won a Justice Media Award for a short radio series on the work of Bedford Row Project, which supports prisoners and families in the Mid-West. Fiona also teaches on the Journalism programmes at NUI Galway. If you have a story and would like to get in touch with Fiona you can email her at fmcgarry@clarechampion.ie or telephone 065 6864146.

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