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Flood relief works in Laois town ‘cannot wait any longer’ says Laois TD

Brian Stanley Mountrath

Laois TD Brian Stanley says that the wait for flood relief works in Mountrath cannot continue any longer.

The Sinn Fein TD was speaking as Met Eireann released a yellow rainfall warning for Laois for localised flooding from 5am today until 5am on Thursday.

Mr Stanley lambasted the delay as ‘totally unacceptable as we head for another winter’.

He said: “As a native of the town, I have witnessed flooding there in every decade in the area of Shannon Street and Patrick Street.

“While the Council have carried out works on the Whitehorse River at various times over the years to alleviate it, important work is now been delayed by An Bord Pleanála (ABP).

“Laois County Council (LCC) submitted an application to ABP in February for consent to install an overflow pipe on the stream at Shannon Street along with all the necessary documentation.

“Environmental assessments have been completed by the Council and the necessary funding has been secured.

“Despite ABP stating that the average time for making decisions on such applications is 18 weeks, no decision has yet been made.

“This is disappointing facing into another winter and in the context of increasing frequency of heavy rainfall in a short space of time due to climate change.”

Mr Stanley also outlined the proposed works.

He said: “The proposed work is to simply install an overflow pipe from a back garden to the Whitehorse River.

“It has been judged by engineers that this is the best option and will supplement other works done over the years.

“Funding is also available for other works at Patrick Street which includes the diversion of a wastewater drainage and sewer pipe from under the bridge.

“If both contracts were completed, it should greatly reduce the risk of serious flooding in the town.

“I have written to the Chairperson of ABP Dave Walsh in an effort to get them to move on this and grant consent to the Council and told him the prolonged delay unacceptable.”

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Stradbally native Alan Hartnett is a graduate of Knockbeg College who has worked in the local and national media since 2008. Alan has a BA in Economics, Politics and Law and an MA in Journalism from DCU. His happiest moment was when Jody Dillon scored THAT goal in the Laois senior football final in 2016.