He explained, “Major flood events have taken place in the County Capital on and off throughout the centuries. We have seen parts of the town centre flood in more recent years, including 1989, 1994, 1995, 1999 and, to a lesser extent, in 2004. Without the development and implementation of a flood relief plan there is no doubt that the town will incur further flooding, which has disastrous financial and personal consequences for local residents and business owners.”
Minister Killeen said that the Ennis Flood Relief Scheme would significantly reduce the risk of flooding to properties and land in Ennis and its environs.
“Once completed, the Upper Scheme will give areas from the Lower Scheme protection against a 10 year flood event. The completion of the entire scheme will provide a ‘100 year’ flood event protection and will benefit over 500 residential properties and 400 non-residential properties in the town”, he indicated.
Minister of State Tony Killeen, who is responsible for specific aspects of Government climate policy including preparation of adaptation strategy, expressed confidence that the Flood Relief Plan would make Ennis better prepared against the negative effects of climate change.
“Climate change is likely to produce higher rainfall in winter, and therefore to increase the risk of flooding along rivers. This increased frequency of intense rainfall events is likely to increase the numbers of urban floods, and higher rainfall over winter will also mean increases in the extent of flooding from rising groundwater. The development of a flood relief plan for Ennis, therefore, takes on added significance”
Minister Killeen paid tribute to the Ennis Town Engineer and the Town Council for their ongoing work on alleviating the threat of flooding in the centre of Ennis.
“In recent times, Mr. Tom Tiernan and his staff have done excellent work in ensuring such areas as Woodquay and the Parnell Street Car Park, which are prone to flooding, have not been threatened by high water levels on the River Fergus. The presence of a pumping station on the river bank has proven to have been an effective method of reducing the flood risk”, concluded Minister Killeen.
Commenting on the signing of the Civil Engineering Works contract, Minister Killeen said, “The contract provides for the widening of the river channel, construction of new walls and improvements to existing walls, construction of pumping stations, and refurbishment and replacement of the existing sluice gate upstream at Mill Bridge. These works will take twelve months to complete.”
The Civil Engineering Works contract has been awarded to Carillion Irishenco Ltd of Kill, County Kildare and is valued at over EUR5.185m. The overall Flood Relief Scheme for the town has been broken into two schemes (Upper and Lower) and has a total Project Cost (both schemes) estimated at EUR26m. Today's official announcement was made by Noel Ahern, T.D., Minister of State at the Department of Finance with special responsibility for the Office of Public Works.
Notes to Editor:
- Tony Killeen T.D., Minister of State at the Department of Environment Heritage and Local Government and Communication Energy and Natural Resources with special responsibility for Environment and Energy, is available for interview and further comment on 0035387-2525304. Alternatively please contact Mark Dunphy of Dunphy Public Relations on 00353868534900 or firstname.lastname@example.org
- High-resolution images of Minister Killeen are available on request