VULNERABLE Flooding at Carrowholly in January 2014.
Almost four years after New Year storms resulted in flooding and substantial damage to property around Carrowholly, a request by the Office of Public Works means the development of a flood-defence barrier is no nearer to completion.
In January 2014, storms and high tides caused the flooding of homes in Rosmindle, between Carrowholly and Kilmeena, and cut off some residents.
The presence of otters in the Drumgarve Canal delayed works in 2016, and at yesterday’s monthly meeting of West Mayo Municipal District, councillors were informed of another significant delay.
Mr Padraic Walsh, head of West Mayo Municipal District, told councillors that the OPW had informed Mayo County Council it needed more information than was contained in the local authority’s Carrowholly flood study.
Responding to a question from Independent councillor Christy Hyland, Mr Walsh said he could not say when the work would finally start, as there was still a ‘lengthy enough process to go through’.
“We need to have the flood study approved by the Office of Public Works,and then we have to apply to An Bord Pleanála for a detailed scheme and get their consent,” Mr Walsh said. “That process has to be gone through.”
The County Council’s flood study was submitted to the OPW almost a year ago, and the delay in requesting additional information angered many of the councillors at the meeting.
Cllr Brendan Mulroy said that ‘it is a bit of a joke’ that the people of Carrowholly are facing into another winter during which nothing will be done. “To wait for a year on a report and come back and say they want further information is crazy,” he said. “I can’t see why the people of Carrowholly will have to wait for what I’d imagine could be another two or three years for their situation to be settled.”
Cllr Tereasa McGuire described the delay in submitting the query as ‘absolutely immoral and disgraceful’, while Cllr Michael Holmes said that the affected residents will be flooded again if there is a storm at the same time as a high tide.
Cllr Hyland added the people of Carrowholly were frightened that history would repeat itself when they were facing Hurricane Ophelia, adding that they way they are being treated is ‘unfair’.
The lack of a flood plan along The Mall in Westport was also raised, with councillors saying that businesses and residents were unable to get insurance.
A Catchment Flood Risk Assessment and Management report described the area as ‘a flood plain’, and Cllr Mulroy said that no help is being given to those at risk.