A pilot scheme that could potentially provide a solution to the flooding problems of South Galway has been described this week as ‘in process’ – on the eve of Friday’s General Election.
The plan being proposed would effectively mean installing pipework along the local roads facilitated by pumping stations as required.
Firstly, water would be brought from Ballyboy and Labane to Ardrahan and from there the water would be brought to the sea at Kinvara.
The estimated cost of the project is €5.75m and the total distance involved in 13.7km; there would be five pumping stations required along the 600 mm pipe which would have an outfall of 42 cubic metres per minute.
Senator Lorraine Higgins this week announced that the plans ‘are now going into a process and there is finally light at the end of the tunnel for the people affected’.
“A couple of weeks ago, at my request, a group of area representatives met with the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government, Alan Kelly, where solutions were discussed and in particular a pilot scheme which would help relieve the terrible flooding endured by the people in South Galway,” she said.
“The outcome of discussions with the Minister and the County Council are such that the proposal would receive further consideration in developing an overall solution and a pilot scheme is a real possibility in order to arrive at a long term solution,” she added.
For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.
TALLIES: Fine Gael will struggle to hold seat in City East
Fine Gael will struggle to hold its seat in Galway City East.
TALLIES: Cheevers looks set to take a seat in City East
With just over half the boxes tallied for Galway City East, Fianna Fáil’s Alan Cheevers looks set to take a seat, polling at over 17 per cent of first preferences.
With Mervue, Ballybane and Tirellan polling stations still to be tallied, Cheevers has taken the lead, with Independent councillor Terry O’Flaherty slipping into second with 16 per cent.
Incumbent Fianna Fáil councillor Mike Crowe is on 10.5 per cent, with Independent councillor Declan McDonnell on 8 per cent.
The Green’s Claire Hillery looks to be benefitting from the party’s nationwide jump in the polls, collecting 6.5 per cent of first preferences.
Sitting Councillors Noel Larkin (Ind), Mairéad Farrell (SF) and John Walsh (FG) are polling at 7.5 per cent, 5.7 per cent and 6.7 per cent respectively.
Also still in contention is the Social Democrats’ Owen Hanley with 6.6 per cent of the vote.
Deal demands better focus on rural Ireland initiatives
A concession on turf cutting, an examination of the decision to close rural Garda stations and post offices – as well as flood alleviation – are all on the shopping list for at least two of Galway’s independent TDs before any agreement to support a new Government.
Both Michael Fitzmaurice from Glinsk and Sean Canney from Tuam have been in discussions with the main parties since the general election with a view to securing their support.
They are part of the six-strong Independent Alliance which also includes Kevin ‘Boxer’ Moran and Shane Ross – but top of their list concerns they have regarding rural Ireland.
It is understood that part of any deal would see some concession on the whole turf cutting controversy, while the issue of the closure of rural Garda Stations and rural post offices are also high on the agenda.
Deputy Canney said that so too was the recent flooding crisis and added that many farmers and individual householders were still suffering.
The Independent Alliance will hold further discussions with the parties and Deputy Canney emphasised that they were not demanding ministerial positions but just a better deal for rural Ireland.
They are demanding, however, that there will be a full Minister for Rural Affairs appointed once the new government is formed.
Deputy Canney added that it was being suggested that a TD in each constituency would report back to this department.