Donegal TDs Pat ‘the Cope’ Gallagher and Pearse Doherty have reacted with disappointment at the announcement of flood relief spending for Donegal.
Funding of almost €6 million has been announced to protect Lifford from floods. The scheme is part of the CFram (Catchment Flood Risk Assessment and Management) programme launched today by the Office of Public Works (OPW).
Funding for Burnfoot, which was badly hit by last August’s flood in Inishowen is expected in the coming weeks.
Three other smaller scale flood relief projects for Donegal have also been included in the CFram programme. Some €870,000 will be spent on a scheme in Downings, €550,000 will be spent in Glenties and €3,000 in Kerrykeel.
Sinn Féin Finance Spokesperson Deputy Pearse Doherty welcomed the announcement from the Minister of State at the office of the OPW, Kevin ‘Boxer’ Moran, that a number of flood mitigation and relief projects across Donegal have been given the green light.
However, the Donegal TD said that news of the plans is a ‘bittersweet’ moment, acknowledging that those communities excluded from the programme will be understandably disappointed today.
“I will also be seeking clarity from the Minister on what is being planned for Burnfoot, where flooding is also a major issue as no further details have been given to my office as yet in relation to the town.
“However, I think it’s also important to acknowledge that a number of communities will be understandably disappointed and angry this morning after having learned that their local scheme will not be funded as part of the capital programme.
“I too share their frustration and I fully understand that flooding in all communities has a devastating impact on the many homes, businesses, farms and community facilities that have experienced episodes of flooding over recent years.”
Deputy Pat the Cope Gallagher, Leas-Cheann Comhairle of the Dáil, labelled the Government’s latest flood relief schemes announcement for Donegal as a complete washout, with only 2.9% of the overall funding allocated to Donegal.
“Despite the numerous instances of flooding we have had on a recurring basis and even with the highest rainfall of all the counties in the country - the Government still failed to prioritise funding for the county. The case for Donegal flooding measures has just not been heard by the Government – and it is another instance of where Donegal is just not a priority for this present administration.
“It is truly shocking how this Government has prioritised flood risk areas and completely failed to take account of other areas. Numerous submissions had been made for flood relief schemes and other measures within the county – areas such as Castlefinn, Ballybofey – Stranorlar, Killybegs, areas throughout north Donegal which had the most catastrophic flooding in years, numerous other areas – but, none are to be funded through this Government programme or were they included in today’s announcement of over €257
million euro of funding.”