Members of Enniscorthy Municipal District Council were shocked to learn that Enniscorthy Flood Relief Scheme will be delayed by six to twelve months after the Department of the Environment ordered a review of the design at a cost of €0.5 million.
Details were provided to the June meeting, held in social distance guidelines at the Presentation Centre, in the monthly report by Project Engineer Larry McHale.
Cathaoirleach Cllr Kathlen Codd-Nolan expressed disappointment at the delay in the update, as did all members in attendance, and Cllr Jackser Owens asked why the project was eight years with Wexford County Council and only signed over to the OPW in December 2019?
Mr McHale outlined that Wexford County Council had concluded all the preliminary work that was requested and it was the Department who ordered the review of the design. “We (Wexford County Council) will be ready to go when the Department gives the go ahead,” he concluded.
Cllr Barbara-Ann Murphy was critical of Carlow County Council extracting water from the River Slaney at Rathvilly resulting in ‘not sufficient water flowing through Enniscorthy.” Cllr Jackser Owens said it was possible to “walk across the Slaney at present” due to extreme low water levels.
Members discussed recent ‘supply disruptions’ to the water supply in Enniscorthy. John O’Rourke cited problems in the Shannon area with taps almost dry and families were concerned at a lack of water “not enough for cooking or to flush the toilet.”
Ironically, the next day a cloud burst over Enniscorthy saturated the streets with torrents of water cascading down Main Street and Irish Street resulting in businesses temporarily closed in Market Square. The damage is estimated to be considerable.
Senior Executive Enginer Tagh O’Corcora said there were plans for a new intake of 4,500 litres “which is enough for the moment” but added that there are plans to double the capacity to 9,000 litres per day. The first priority is to fix the bad pipes.
Cllr Cathal Byrne agreed with Cllr Murphy that “the entire water network” in Enniscorthy be replaced, and he also focussed on major refurbishment of reservoirs at Bree and Ballyhogue where bulk water tanks were operational.
A contractor has been appointed at both Bree and Ballyhogue, however, due to Covid-19 regulations plans to commence on the Bree reservoir have not been finalised. Work at Ballyhogue has been completed.