By Dan Walsh
Executive Engineer Larry McHale updated members on the Enniscorthy Flood Relief Scheme at today’s monthly meeting of Enniscorthy Municipal District Council held under Covid-19 guidelines at the Presentation Centre, Enniscorthy.
Referring to the most recent flooding Mr McHale described “a serious event” that brought Minister Patrick O’Donovan, who has responsibility for the OPW, from his home and family in Limerick to Enniscorthy on St. Stephen’s Day where he met with members and officials and witnessed for himself the importance of the scheme.
Minister O’Donovan promised to meet with the members and discuss the delays in progressing the scheme and that special meeting took place on January 5th.
The meeting with Minister O’Donovan was described as “very positive” and that funding is secure for the scheme, and “it is very important for people to hear that.” There are problems with court challenges, but the Council is awaiting approval and the contract documents are ready for signing.
Cllr Jackser Owens told the meeting he had met the Minister, who he described as “frank and honest”, and he was assured that “the money is there.” Cllr Owens made reference to objections to the scheme and wondered if there were a time limit on legal objections.
Cllr Codd-Nolan said it was “a very positive” meeting with the Minister and she was relieved that “the money is there” for the scheme, but she questioned the legal agreements and consultants on huge money holding up the scheme.
Cathaoirleach, Cllr Cathal Byrne, reported that the Minister confirmed that the money for the Enniscorthy Flood Defence Scheme is ringfenced with his Department but that he is awaiting approval of the Enniscorthy Flood Defence Scheme from Minister Michael McGrath and the Department of Public Expenditure who are currently reviewing the environmental surveys and impact assessments as part of a legal approval process. “I again raised the need for this process to be sped up so that the works can start, he added.