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‘Good progress’ made on €18 million Flood Relief Scheme for Mountmellick

A Laois TD has said there has been “good progress” made on the €18 million Flood Relief Scheme for Mountmellick.

This follows on from Chairperson of the Office of Public Works (OPW), John Conlon, and Head of Flood Management, Jim Casey’s appearance before the Dáil’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC) last week.

PAC is chaired by Laois’s Sinn Féin TD Brian Stanley, who brough the two men to task over the length of time take to see any movement on the issue.

“Mountmellick was badly flooded in November 2017, which is almost seven years ago, and there is not a shovel in the ground,” Deputy Stanley said.

“It is not acceptable that we could be waiting 12 or 13 years for a scheme to come in for Mountmellick.”

Now, Fine Gael TD Charlie Flanagan has weighed in on the issue, reporting good progress on the scheme following a meeting with Minister for the OPW Kieran O’Donnell, and senior OPW officials.

Minister O’Donnell admitted that the risks and dangers are much greater than were originally anticipated, yet Deputy Flanagan says he remains keen to ensure that there is “no delay” in the delivery of this scheme.

“Local consultation and engineering works have been proceeding and it is hoped that the necessary planning permissions and consents will be advanced shortly,” Deputy Flanagan said.

“Currently Laois County Council is working to ensure that the appropriate embankments and protections are included so as to minimise a flood risk.

Deputy Flanagan also raised a particular concern of Derrycloney Residents and a request for protection as part of the scheme.

“A number of residents in the Derrycloney/Drinagh area felt that they were not getting full support under the Scheme and that there was a risk of vulnerability and fear,” he said.

The Fine Gael TD assured the Derrycloney residents that thei concerns “will be taken into account” and that the OPW Engineers and field officers are “fully aware” of the specific Derrycloney risks.

“This is a once in a life time opportunity for the entire Mountmellick area and it is essential that no group or area is left behind,” Deputy Flanagan said.

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