Galway flood defences raised at Finance Committee

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Galway West TD Mairéad Farrell has raised the long-awaited flood defences for Galway City at this week’s Finance Committee.

Deputy Farrell told Minister of State Patrick O’Donovan that it was revealed in November that it will be at least eight years before long-awaited flood defences are completed in the Spanish Arch and Docks areas.

Galway City Council estimated that it would be towards the end of 2028 before works are finished.

The Sinn Féin TD said: “It is my understanding that the OPW was to be commencing a 5 stage process; with stage 1 being an environmental impact assessment and cost benefit analysis, stage 2 and 3 involve seeking planning permission and progressing a detailed design, before going to tender, 4 and 5 involving construction and completion.

“In the Chief Executive’s report, it states that the local authority does not anticipate that it will commence construction until quarter one of 2025 – a stage they estimate will take three years to complete.”

Deputy Farrell added that the capital investment projects serve environmental purposes that could save homes and lives in the event of a flood emergency.

“We know that capital projects are way behind at the moment due to COVID and restrictions.

“We also know that the likes of the ESRI, the Irish Fiscal Advisory Council, even the IMF, are all telling us that expanding capital investment will be key as the pandemic recedes.

“So, would you commit to re-examining the timeline around the flood defences with a view to bringing the start date forward?” asked the Galway West TD.

In response the Minister said that he could not accelerate the timeline but committed to coming to Galway to visit the area in question and to meet with both Galway City Council staff and Oireachtas Members.

He also commended once more the hard work of Galway County Council staff during the recent flooding in Clifden and said that he would visit there as well.