Enniscorthy’s Flood Defence Scheme faces more Delays

Fianna Fáil TD, James Browne, was certainly quick off the mark on Wednesday in the Dáil, as he raised the “Flash Flooding” that occurred in Enniscorthy the previous evening, and he also highlighted that the planned Flood Defence Scheme will face further delays.

Deputy Browne said,

“I want to raise the issue of the increasingly severe conditions we are seeing year-on-year. Last night, my home town of Enniscorthy saw as much rainfall in less than an hour than it had seen in the previous month with some serious flash flooding.”

“There is a flood relief scheme for Enniscorthy and almost €50 million was put aside by the Minister in last October’s budget for same. The programme was meant to be sent up by Wexford County Council last October for approval by the Minister by December to go to tender this summer. Unfortunately, for some reason it appears the scheme did not arrive with the Minister until this March and because of that there is a now a further environmental impact assessment, EIA, review as I understand it from Wexford County Council before it can proceed to tender.”

“I understand the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform is also carrying out a tender process for the independent experts who can carry out these new EIA reviews that need to be carried out under a new EU regulation. Can the Minister give an update on what the timeline is for those independent inspectors for that tender to be carried out?”

“We are now told that a programme for this flood relief scheme that was to be approved by the Minister last December will take at least another six to 12 months to be signed off on. That is disconcerting when one sees the level and increasing frequency of flooding in Enniscorthy. Businesses and houses are being damaged and destroyed on a regular basis.”

In response, Minister for Finance and Public Expenditure & Reform, Paschal Donohoe TD, said,

“I refer to the points Deputy James Browne raised about the status of the flood defence scheme in Enniscorthy for the River Slaney. My Department will progress the formal confirmation process, having regard to the regulations for decision-making on schemes such as that which were introduced in 2019.”

“As the Deputy said, we have a tender process underway for environmental consultants but we are looking to begin the next phase of public consultation on this project as soon as we can and I will come back to the Deputy with detail on the timing of the tendering process for environmental consultants.”

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