County council promises to spend
more money on flood prevention

The flooding at the Brookville Business park
Louth County Council intends to spend more money on flood prevention.

Louth County Council intends to spend more money on flood prevention.

Senior engineer Gerry Kelly told the Dundalk municipal district council that the local authority intends to identify the ten most troublesome areas to try and tackle the problem.

Cllr Mark Dearey said it would not be surprising if there was a repeat of last January’s high tide which left areas around the Quay district flooded.

The Green Party councillor proposed that the council’s infrastructure special policy committee look at ways of avoiding flooding in the town.

This point was also raised by Fianna Fail councillor Peter Savage.

“We need to look at what the weather is doing to our infrastructure,” Cllr Dearey said.

Sinn Fein councillor Tomás Sharkey wants the council to tackle the problem of clearing drains. He believes that a return to this basic maintenance would in the long run alleviate the problem.

Municipal chairman Cllr Declan Breathnach said it is only fitting that the municipal councillors should thank the council outdoor staff, who once again showed exemplary courage and professional skill in tackling the recent flooding and offering help to people whose homes were affected.

Fine Gael county councillor Maria Doyle is also anxious that more precautions are taken to prevent flash flooding in Dundalk and Blackrock areas.

The Ardee Road had some of its worst flooding in most people’s memory recently. The road was closed, from St Malachy’s Villas to Ballybarrack for four days.

Bus routes were diverted.

Cllr Doyle’s grew up in this area and spent those days helping people whose homes had been flooded.

“I grew up there,” she said at the time. “My parents live there and they, and their neighbours were marooned. Some people had to leave their homes because of the flooding. Those that could remain had to have groceries brought in.

“People at Mounthamilton were still marooned in their houses on Monday. Three families had to move out of their homes on Sunday.

“The fire service, civil defence, and Dundalk Sub Aqua were brilliant, but we need to look at what caused or added to such flooding.

“There has been flooding here before, but it has never been as bad as this, and people want to know why. The Ramparts river flows through here, and there were problems at Mullaharlin and at Thomas Street where it overflowed.

“I am concerned that dumping in the Ramparts may have made matters worse. It’s a big issue with people there. We need to find out what is causing the problem.”

At the county council meeting, director of services Frank Pentony said dumping in the Ramparts around the Thomas Street area had added to the flooding problems. He said a drainage plan for the Mounthamilton area had been costed at €10 million but it had never been sanctioned.

The council’s chief executive Joan Martin told the council meeting that a month’s rain had fallen in a day.