In the aftermath of the recent flooding of Dundalk and Blackrock two conflicting arguments has emerged as how best to combat future flooding.
Speaking to the Democrat Green Party councillor Mark Dearey said that he believes a targeted approach with emphasis on engineering solutions is the best way forward.
“It is clear the best way forward on the matter is protect the major urban areas of Dundalk and Blackrock.
“For starters the drainage system has to be looked. Valves to be installed so sea water doesn’t come back up during surges.That is a considerable problem that is already leading to flooding.
“Also I think a temporary system where the height of the wall at Blackrock can be increased by a metre during flooding times. The pedestrian access points could also be gated.”
The opposing idea is to add to the already existing embankment that runs from Soldier’s Point to Blackrock, a view Cllr Eamon O’Boyle and the Louth Environmental Group support.
“There is merit to the developing the embankment, but I think the priority must be engineering solution directly in Dundalk and Blackrock.”
Cllr Deary also points out that if were not the for a Green Party campaign in 2008, housing estates would have been built on land that is now flooded.
Cllr Eamon O’Boyle has championed the use of the embankment, known as the Lord Limerick; for years, and believes it could offer a true safeguard against future flooding.
“If it wasn’t for it being in existence, already I believe you could have as many as 3,500 homes under water.
“We had the opportunity to undertake this project back in 2006, but the idea withered away. I think that was a lethal mistake by the executive.”
Chairman O’Boyle says that redevelopment of the Lord Limerick embankment would be a win, win situation.
“It was built in 1770, and is already contributing to less flooding. It has had zero repairs in 240 years and still doing a job protecting Dundalk.
“It could cost as little €2 million to redevelop it, and to fill the 20 or so gaps along the route. Allied to this you could have a walkway along the top of it creating a public amenity that could combat obesity and be a tourist attraction
“There was flooding here in 1947 and 1982. People think I’m being alarmist and a doomsayer, but we need common sense and practicality, and that’s sadly lacking.”