Almost seven years after Carrowholly was flooded by winter storms, causing substantial damage to property, work on erecting a flood-defence barrier is finally about to begin.
Carrowholly was one of the worst-affected communities when Storms Brigid and Christine hit the west coast in January 2014. A number of properties were flooded, while public infrastructure was also damaged, with a bridge washed away and access to houses in Rosmindle cut off.
Following the storms, funding was approved for storm damage works in Carrowholly, but the project was delayed as the local authority awaited approval from the Office of Public Works (OPW).
However, Mayo County Council and the OPW finally agreed on a series of works this year, and planning permission was approved. Work is now due to begin on the Rusheen barrier in the coming weeks.
The announcement was welcomed by Cathaoirleach of the Westport-Belmullet Municipal District, Cllr Christy Hyland, who said that the residents had waited too long for the work to take place.
“The flood-defence barriers were destroyed in the storms of 2014, and since then the residents have been at their wits end every time there was news of a pending storm or a high tide. This barrier is long awaited, and I’d like to thank everyone involved. There were environmental issues and other issues which had to be dealt with, and now it is great to see that the work will start. However, someone higher than we are will have to look at the time it took, because it took too long,” he said.
The works on the barrier will result in temporary road closures in the Rusheen area from December 10 to December 23 and after the Christmas period, from January 2 to January 23. The roads closures will take place from 8am to 5pm, and diversions will be put in place during that period.
Meanwhile, it has been confirmed that realignment work along the N59 from Newport to Derrada is due to commence in the first quarter of 2020, following the completion of the N59 Kilmeena Road Realignment Scheme.
On completion of the Newport to Derrada section, work will start on the Tiernaur to Mulranny road.