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*Photograph: Joe Buckley

Sixmilebridge is at risk of flooding if replacement weir gates are not installed, a local representative has warned.

An appeal for the replacement of weir gates at the Battlement of Fredericks Square “as a matter of urgency” was issued by Cllr John Crowe (FG) at a recent meeting of the Shannon Municipal District.

He flagged, “They are incapable of controlling the flow of water downstream. The gates have not been replaced in over fifty years and now is the time considering the good work that has already been done on the bridge and the river downstream”.

Council engineer Aidan O’Rourke noted, “the weir gate is located in private property and as such is not a Council asset to be replaced”. He commented that the matter would be referred to the dangerous structures section of the Council’s Building Control Team.

“We are very fortunate to have escaped flooding. These gates helped to protect the Bridge and the people’s houses. Now that these gates are in serious bad situation, I don’t think it makes any difference who owns them. These gates are going right across the water, it is a matter of safety that these gates are done, I know the OPW would be willing to replace these gates if they got the green light from Clare County Council,” Cllr Crowe stated.

Crowe continued, “There is nothing whatsoever to slow down the water hitting the main square. It is over 50 years since these gates have been replaced. They have to be replaced, there is no doubt but there is nothing to control the flow of water flowing downstream. Cut out the red tape and get these gates sorted out. We’ve been lucky for last couple of years but how long is a piece of string”.

Local efforts can only last for so long, Cllr PJ Ryan (IND) maintained. “The former owner of The Greyhound Bar was always very active and when he saw danger he would knock a gap in the wall to save everyone else in the village”. Ryan believed this was no longer the answer and backed his colleague’s call for action from the local authority.

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