By Noel Dundon
North Tipperary County Council is to prepare and make a written submission to the Office of Public Works in relation to carrying out extensive drainage works on the River Suir from Templemore to Holycross, following two Notices of Motion this week.
Councillors John Hogan and John Kennedy both had motions before the monthly meeting of the local authority calling for action to be taken on the river. Cllr Kennedy asked for priority to be given to cleaning the Suir from Beakstown, Thurles to Templemore due to the ongoing flooding issues in a number of locations. He asked the council to apply for funding from the OPW Flooding Relief Scheme to address the problem.
Meanwhile Cllr John Hogan asked for special funding to be applied for to clean the river from Templemore through Thurles and on to the far side of Holycross. Cllr Hogan stated that thousands of acres of arable farmland have been flooded constantly over the last few years by water from the Suir with parts of Loughmore, Rossesstown, Thurles and Holycross suffering flooding for several months.
“The loss to farmers is huge and also the loss of production of animals and crops is costing the local economy and the National Exchequer thousands of Euro each year. Farmers are willing to co-operate and assist in any way possible with the OPW to ensure that the river is cleaned and maintained in an environmentally friendly way protecting habitats and all fish and wildlife. These works are urgently required and I am calling on the council to prpeare a submisison to the OPW immediately,” Cllr Hoagn said.
The council’s engineering staff have already written to the OPW bringing the matter to their attention, and have also engaged with the Loughmore Drainage Committee who have outlined their concerns regading the ongoing flooding. The Drianage Committee have at all times stated that they accept that their lands will be flooded during winter time, but they would hope to be able to farm the land at other times during the year - an impossibility presently due to the prolonged flooding of lands in the areas mentioned.
Cllrs Michael Lowry and Seamie Hanafin have outlined the severe problem of illegal dumping occurring throughout the county and have urged for the matter to be tackled head on with a planned approach. Both stated they were shocked to see so much dumping recently.