Funding promised for flood defence

Simon Harris: This is a concrete step forward.

All necessary funding will be given to build flood defences at St Mary’s Park in Limerick, where homes were flooded last February after the Shannon burst its banks, a junior minister has pledged.

During a visit to the estate, Simon Harris, the minister of state with responsibility for the Office of Public Works, said a steering group has been set up to draw up a plan for building flood defences around the estate.

Mr Harris said the group will be led by Limerick City and County Council and an official from his department will be part of the group.

“The plan from this group will go to public consultation as quickly as possible and I expect they will meet in the next fortnight and, when planning issues are addressed, and once it is through the planning process, the OPW will fund it and provide all the technical advice and assistance,” said Mr Harris.

“So I think this is a concrete step forward for the residents of this area.”

He said his department will provide all the necessary funding and that it was important the right scheme is put in place.

“You need to bring all the various people around the table to get this plan in place,” he said, adding that he wants the scheme up and running as quickly as possible. “The OPW will provide funding to deliver for the people of Limerick, whatever level of funding will be delivered. The level of funding will depend on the final scheme.”

Independent councillor John Gilligan, who was to the fore in demanding a major remedial scheme to prevent flooding recurring in St Mary’s Park, said: “I am delighted with the news today from Minister Harris. Work can now progress and the money is promised. It will be a great relief to the residents who are still in fear of another flood.”


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