Kerry County Council is seeking funding to prevent flooding along a stretch of the Flesk river, on the main N22, near Killarney. Twenty houses have been cut off by annual flooding in recent years.

For the first time, the council is seeking major funding to clear 6kms of the river banks, running from Loo Bridge into the village.

Residents have persistently called for vegetation along the river banks to be cleared and have rejected proposals from the National Transport Authority about raising the road.

An initial application, for funding of €99,000, has now gone into the OPW for works along a 6km stretch from Loo Bridge south to Glenflesk.

The mayor of Killarney, Niall Kelleher, said this was a result of the flooding last week and the pressure put on the council. The minister with responsibility for the OPW, Kevin Moran, has given a commitment, the mayor said.

Charlie O’Sullivan, director of services for roads with Kerry County Council, said the application was submitted to the OPW yesterday, for funding under the Non Coastal Minor Works Flood Mitigation Scheme, “for the clearance of vegetation along a 5.6km section of the River Flesk, between Curreal Bridge and Loo Bridge”. The works also include a treatment programme for the eradication of Japanese Knotweed, over a three- to four-year period.

However, there is concern among residents that clearing only part of the river will actually exacerbate the problem, bringing the water more quickly into the affected area.

Damien Switzer said last week was the third time Glenflesk had been flooded in recent months and that residents along the main national primary route felt they were living on a small island.

“It’s flooded three times in the past two months. Only three or four feet, but enough to close the roads and leave residents stranded,” he said, suggesting that the solution was to clear the river all the way to the lakes and beyond, a stretch of around 12km.

A public meeting is taking place today in Glenflesk.

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