A local TD has expressed disappointment that work on the River Shannon to remove a sizeable population of Asian Clams appears to be "still some time off."
The comment from Deputy Denis Naughten comes amid concern that the highly-invasive species will spread downstream from Lanesborough to Athlone.
Deputy Naughten said the dredging of the Shannon, at Lanesborough, needed to happen as a matter of urgency.
In a Dail response to a question from the South Roscommon TD about the proposed dredging in Lanesborough, Minister Joe McHugh said: “In the first instance it is anticipated that a trial dredge will take place in advance of a full scale dredging operation.
"In advance of this an EPA licence will be required for disposal of the dredged material and the classification of the materials will have a bearing on the method and cost of disposal.”
The Minister went on to say “at this point I understand that the overall cost of a full scale dredging operation has yet to be established, however, this will become clear once the material classification is available and it will be possible to accurately estimate the cost.”
Responding to the Minister’s comments, Denis Naughten said: “It seems that we have one agency passing the buck to the other and in the meantime the Asian Clam is potentially spreading further along the Shannon system. This is a very serious issue and we need to see some urgency by all of the players involved in having this infestation tackled immediately.”