Flood relief measure to become permanent

The simple channel dug out at Cahermore in the early days of January 2016, that helped to relieve an emergency flood situation for many homes in the area.
The simple channel dug out at Cahermore in the early days of January 2016, that helped to relieve an emergency flood situation for many homes in the area.

A DIY flood channel that provided emergency relief for many homes in the Cahermore area of South Galway during the height of the Spring floods, now looks set to be replaced by a permanent and deeper outlet.

This week, East Galway Fine Gael TD Ciaran Cannon confirmed that Galway County Council now had plans in place for a permanent relief channel at Cahermore [between Ardrahan and Kinvara] from funds available in the Minor Works Flood Relief Scheme.

Deputy Cannon said that the new channel would be close to the old one but would be excavated at a much lower level, preventing the build-up of floodwaters at a much earlier stage.

“The new flood relief channel will be located close to the existing channel which was excavated in January and it will have the effect of draining away excessive flood waters at times of heavy rain thus reducing the flood risk to local homes and farms.

“The works will also include the filling in of the existing channel and the full reinstatement of the lands through which the channel was excavated. Consultation with local landowners will also take place before any works are carried out,” said Deputy Cannon.

He added that if this project was followed immediately with two similar relief channels between Cahermore and Coole, it would provide an overflow outlet for the major bodies of water that caused so much hardship during the seasonal floods.

“No one is suggesting for a moment that we need to drain any of our turloughs – the opposite is the case. What we do need are simple overflow channels to take excessive water from our turloughs to the sea.

“The creation of a permanent channel in Cahermore is the first stage of this process and I am working closely with my colleague Cllr Joe Byrne to ensure that all of these channels are constructed as quickly as possible,” said Deputy Cannon.

Back in 2011, a major report published by the OPW suggested that the overall cost of providing overland channels from Coole to Kinvara would be €48 million.

The OPW had proposed one single seven kilometre long channel from Coole to the sea at a depth of 7.5 metres and a width of 25 metres.

However, according to Deputy Cannon this was a completely ‘excessive and unnecessary proposal’.

For more on this story, see the Connacht Tribune.