Flood fears on the rise for Galway farmers

Tom Turley, standing on one of the many land encroachments that impede water flow along the river near Clonfert. PHOTO: HANY MARZOUK.

A PLEA has been made this week by Shannon Callows farmers and local residents for remedial works to start immediately in a bid to prevent a recurrence of the horrendous floods of last winter.

Farm leaders and public representatives have warned that there is an ‘ever shortening window’ of opportunity to carry out key works on the Shannon before the return of the winter flood season.

Local farmer and IFA representative Tom Turley warned that a number of key ‘pinch points’ on the Shannon between Athlone and Meelick needed to be ‘dealt with’.

The overgrowth of islands and the silting up of the channel requires urgent dredging and clean-up work over September and October, he said.

“The heavy rains of the weekend have really focused the minds of people on a flooding issue that hasn’t gone away,” said Tom Turley.

OPW Minister and Galway TD Sean Canney said that while the bigger jobs on channel pinch points could not be tackled in the coming weeks, there would be a restriction on boating activities and a controlled lowering of water levels from October to March.

He said that a number of smaller remedial projects were going ahead while Bord na Móna would make available their low-lying bogs to take excess waters from the Shannon.

See full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune.