Lough Funshinagh residents 'can sleep safely next winter' as work on overflow pipe begins
The Minister for the OPW, Patrick O'Donovan, visited South Roscommon earlier today to mark the commencement of work on an overflow pipeline designed to end the long-running flooding issues at Lough Funshinagh.
Roscommon County Council is using a legal provision to bypass the planning process for the work, on the basis that if severe flooding occurred in the area next winter people's lives could be at risk.
The 2.6 kilometre pipeline from Lough Funshinagh to the Shannon, at Lough Ree, has been designed by Malachy Walsh and Partners Consulting Engineers on behalf of Roscommon County Council.
Stating that the flooding in the area in recent years had caused "considerable hardship" as well as stress and anxiety to the local community, Minister O'Donovan welcomed the start of the project.
"I am delighted that Roscommon County Council has taken the decision to proceed with urgent works to control the water levels at the Lough under the provisions contained in the Local Authorities (Works) Act 1949," he said.
The local authority's decision to intervene was prompted by recent reports it had received which predicted that flood levels next winter could exceed previous records.
Work on the overflow pipe began on Tuesday of this week, and it's expected that the water levels on the lake will be lowered in advance of next winter.
"Roscommon County Council has sought assistance from the OPW in the form of machinery and staffing. I am very pleased that the OPW is to undertake the works on behalf of the council," said Minister O'Donovan.
"Works commenced on site on June 8, and the works are estimated to take between three and four months to complete."
The CEO of Roscommon County Council, Eugene Cummins, said the overflow pipeline would "allow the community of Lough Funshinagh to sleep safely" next winter.
He thanked the Minister and the Government for making the resources of the OPW available to the council in order to carry out the urgent works.
"I would also like to thank the present Municipal District councillors and those politicians who trusted me to make the right decision on their behalf for the community of Lough Funshinagh, who had to live with the constant fear of flooding.
"In particular, I would like to thank John Curtin and his colleagues in the OPW for their advice and assistance over the last few months."