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Proposal for flooding areas

Vortex pic
STILL SWAMPED The excess water from Brownstown turlough is creating a vortex at this point. The pipe runs under the road at Tadhg’s Wood. Pic: Michael Donnelly

Drainage proposal for flooding areas

Claire Egan

THE POSSIBILITY of an arterial drainage scheme is on the cards for south Mayo after representatives from Mayo County Council met with officials of the OPW this week.
Discussions have been ongoing between Mayo County Council, members of the OPW and local councillors over the best course of action to pursue in the aftermath of the worst period of flooding in south Mayo in recent decades.
Mayo County Council senior engineer Mr Patsy Bourke confirmed to The Mayo News on Monday that discussions had taken place and that a number of proposals were on the table. He added that it was difficult to find a definitive solution to the problem, but did confirm that plans would be put in place for a drainage scheme.
“A meeting has taken place and further assessments and reports will be carried out concerning south Mayo and the best plan of action to take. A full drainage scheme is one of the proposals,” said Mr Bourke.
Chief among the problems is the contentious Thomastown turlough on the outskirts of Kilmaine, which has overflown in recent weeks and is one of the contributory sources from which a number of areas have been flooded.
“As I said, it is difficult to find a comprehensive solution to the flooding which has occurred in south Mayo but we are seriously considering a full drainage scheme for the Thomastown turlough which will alleviate problems in the surrounding areas such as Ballinacarra,” he said.
Mr Bourke added that the full co-operation of all members of the farming community would be required in the coming months in order to make the project feasible. At present a concrete pipe to take the overflow from the turlough is overflowing onto the Ballymartin road at an area known locally as Tadhg’s Wood.
Local farmer and postman Mr Sean Joyce has been campaigning for the past two decades for Mayo County Council to insert a relief drainage pipe at a location near the historic Brown’s Castle, which will drain from the Thomastown turlough into an official OPW drain. This would then carry the flow of water into the Kilmaine Cross river and continue to Lough Corrib.
Mr Joyce believes that if the Council pursue this course of action it will lessen the cumulative flood waters in the turloughs of Clyard and Coolisduff which overflow and flood the road and the surrounding farmland in the area.
Senior engineer Mr Patsy Bourke told The Mayo News that the proposal for the drainage of Thomastown turlough should help to alleviate the ongoing concerns of Mr Sean Joyce.
A number of pumps were only recently installed at the Thomastown turlough to pump away the excess water at Thomastown. However, pumping has ceased in recent weeks.
At present vast tracts of land around the south Mayo region are still under water while remedial roadworks are ongoing on the R334.

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