Enniscorthy Guardian - - FRONT PAGE - By PÁDRAIG BYRNE

EN­NIS­COR­THY based TD James Browne has called for the pri­ori­ti­sa­tion of the En­nis­cor­thy Flood De­fence Scheme be­fore the town is hit by dev­as­tat­ing flood­ing once more.

Deputy Browne said that the project had hit sig­nif­i­cant de­lays and he would be con­cerned both that the town will once again be hit with cat­a­strophic flood­ing and that the money set aside for the project will be used up else­where.

A pub­lic con­sul­ta­tion on the scheme was due to take place in re­cent months and Min­is­ter of State for the Of­fice of Pub­lic Works Kevin ‘Boxer’ Mo­ran has now said that this won’t take place un­til the first quar­ter of 2018.

‘We’re see­ing flood­ing be­come more and more com­mon,’ said Deputy Browne. ‘Most re­cently we’ve had ter­ri­ble flood­ing in Done­gal and they are get­ting worse and worse. This de­lay is a back­ward step.

‘We were told that the De­part­ment of Pub­lic Ex­pen­di­ture and Re­form would re­ceive the cur­rent de­sign of the scheme be­fore the end of the year.

‘How­ever, now we’re told that the De­part­ment won’t re­ceive the de­sign un­til mid-2018. It feels as though this project is slip­ping in pri­or­ity. Places in the likes of Cork seem to be mov­ing for­ward with their flood re­lief schemes and my con­cern is that if we de­lay any fur­ther, all the money set aside for this will be gob­bled up else­where.’

Deputy Browne said that no con­crete rea­sons had been given for the de­lay to the scheme.

‘Min­is­ter Mo­ran says he hopes to com­mence con­struc­tion in late 2018 or early 2019,’ he said. ‘I’m press­ing for the Min­is­ter to ad­vance the project as soon as pos­si­ble. This time­line is un­cer­tain. En­nis­cor­thy needs a se­cure in­fra­struc­ture to pre­vent dam­age from floods.’

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