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Wait for funding for flood management works in Belharbour ongoing for 21 months

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*Flooding in Belharbour in 2014.

Efforts to secure a suitable source of funding for flood management works in Belharbour have been ongoing for the past 21 months.

Numerous houses at Mortyclogh in Ballyvaughan along with the N67 are prone to flooding resulting in the regular closure of the public road and addition of detours.

Steve Lahiffe, acting senior executive engineer with capital projects in Clare County Council explained, “The source of flooding is from the Ballyvelaghan Lough and the local groundwater table.  Ballyvelaghan Lough is considered to be a turlough which virtually dries out except for a small section of permanent lake each summer and which generally peaks gradually in the winter flood period coinciding with the elevated groundwater table.  This Lough is generally found to be slow to rise and slow to recede”.

Representations from public representations led to the local authority commissioning Hydro Environmental Ltd to carry out a feasibility study in 2016 which identified two potential solutions.

A scheme was then designed by Malachy Walsh & Partners to prepare an application to An Bord Pleanála, Lahiffe recalled. The proposed development was approved subject to conditions. In February of last year, Clare County Council submitted an application for funding under the minor works scheme to the Office of Public Works.

Lahiffe added, “The Office of Public Works have indicated to Clare Co Council that they will provide finding for the element of the scheme that relates to the flooding or risk of flooding to dwelling houses. Clare County Council are currently investigating securing a suitable source of funding to advance the scheme”.

Cllr Joe Killeen (FF) who sought an update on flood management in Belharbour at the November meeting of the West Clare Municipal District maintained a feasibility study would have to be undertaken

Transport Infrastructure Ireland are responsible for the N67 as it is a national secondary route. “I wonder about the TII, the flooding does affect the main road and did cause a long detour to the mast. The TII should be contacted to see if they would subscribe towards remediation works,” Cllr Killeen commented. Cllr Joe Garrihy (FG) supported the views of Killeen, “We were all contacted earlier in the year when flooding occurred”.

Páraic McMahon is Head of News & Sport with The Clare Echo. The Newmarket-on-Fergus native also writes for national papers including The Irish Examiner, The Irish Independent and The Irish Times along with doing work for RTÉ, Today FM, TheJournal.ie and The42.ie. A graduate of Mary Immaculate College, Páraic was previously employed by The Clare Herald and Clare FM. If you have a story, tip or some feedback for him then send an email to - paraic@clareecho.ie

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