Ark­low no to flood fund­ing

Septem­ber 2002

Wicklow People (West Edition) - - NEWS -

THE re­fusal by the Gov­ern­ment to pro­vide money to solve Ark­low’s flood­ing prob­lems has pro­voked anger amongst mem­bers of the lo­cal ac­tion com­mit­tee.

Ark­low Ac­tion Com­mit­tee mem­bers Donal O’Sul­li­van and Pat Kearon had met last week with Ju­nior Min­is­ter Tom Par­lon of the Of­fice of Pub­lic Works, who in­formed the dep­u­ta­tion that he had no money avail­able to solve Ark­low’s flood prob­lems.

A flood study re­port by PH McCarthy and Part­ners for the Town Coun­cil in June had come up with a num­ber of short term rec­om­men­da­tions, cost­ing €138,000 and long term rec­om­men­da­tions, cost­ing €3.3 mil­lion, to deal with the prob­lem of pe­ri­odic flood­ing in Ark­low.

‘Now that £107,000 has been spent on that re­port, we are told sorry all the money has been spent,’ stated Mr Donal O’Sul­li­van, head of the Fer­ry­bank Flood Ac­tion Com­mit­tee. ‘We have now been told that none of the in­terim mea­sures rec­om­mended in the re­port such as the in­stal­la­tion of a flood warn­ing sys­tem, trim­ming and re­moval of large de­bris from the river­banks, in­stal­la­tion of flap valves to the 12 main drainage out­falls of the river, es­tab­lish­ment of a sand-bag de­port are the re­spons­bil­ity of the OPW, in­stead they are the di­rect re­spon­si­bil­ity of the Town Coun­cil.’

‘As we see it both Ark­low Town Coun­cil, Wick­low County Coun­cil and the Gov­ern­ment are play­ing a game of pass the buck,’ Mr O’Sul­li­van com­plained. ‘They are well ca­pa­ble of spend­ing £107,000 on a re­port to tell us what we al­ready know, but when it comes down to ac­tu­ally do­ing some­thing they are silent.’

‘When they now say they have no money to im­ple­ment the rec­om­men­da­tions of the re­port, it all the more an­noy­ing when you see that the Gov­ern­ment blew €440 mil­lion on the pipe dream known as the Ber­tie Bowl and then said they would not go ahead on that either.’

Fine Gael coun­cil­lor Sylvester Bourke, who led and ar­ranged the dep­u­ta­tion to Ju­nior Min­is­ter Tom Par­lon last week, said that the aim of the visit was to speed up the im­ple­men­ta­tion of the rec­om­men­da­tions con­tained in the re­port on Ark­low flood­ing.

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