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29 Jan 2022

Offaly farmers need Shannon flooding problem addressed

Offaly farmers need Shannon flooding problem addressed

Offaly farmers need Shannon flooding problem addressed

Independent TD for Laois Offaly Carol Nolan has been engaging with the Minister of State at the Office of Public Works (OPW) Patrick O’Donovan, the ESB and Waterways Ireland in an attempt to have concerns around potential flood damage to the Castle Callows area of Lusmagh fully addressed.

Deputy Nolan said that she has been contacted on the matter by concerned farmers and landowners on numerous occasions in the 15 months.

Deputy Nolan went on to say that the central issue involves too many sluice gates along the River Shannon at Shaughnessy’s Bridge being open at the same time:

“The farmers and landowners that I have been working with are all of the clear view that by continuing to open too many of the gates at the same time, a serious flooding risk to the Castle Callows area of Lusmagh is being created.

"I have consistently raised the same matter with the Minister since May of this year.

"At that point in May the Minister informed me that in accordance with its guidelines, Waterways Ireland were operating the sluices at the New Cut and Meelick based on a number of factors including water levels at Banagher Bridge, rainfall levels and levels upstream to Lough Ree.

"He also stated that on the 8th May that it was necessary to open sluices at both locations in accordance with the guidelines and that all sluices had been open since 21st May 2021.

"However, I have been informed by those working on the land that in fact all sluices have been open since July of 2020 and that this is what is giving rise to the sustained flood risk to the Callows area of Lusmagh.

"I will be seeking to have this matter resolved as it is totally unacceptable for farmers, homeowners and landowners to be left in such a precarious and uncertain situation,” concluded Deputy Nolan.

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