A call has been made by the Loughmore Drainage Committee to have the River Suir drained and cleaned just outside Thurles so as to prevent severe flooding.
While flooding may well be a very topical issue at the present time, members of the Loughmore Drainage Committee insist that their gripe is not necessarily with flooding at this time of the year along the moors and wetlands between Thurles and Templemore. No, they are more concerned about flooding during the period from March - November which renders almost 2000 acres of land unworkable. And, all of this is because the river has not been cleaned properly since 1989 -25 years ago.
This stretch of the River Suir was cleaned in 1967 and again in ‘89 and the work was very effective indeed as our photos show. The river was free of rushes and reeds, rubbish and weeds and the water flowed uninhibited. However, with the passing of time, the weeds , reeds and rushes have returned and the Suir along this stretch is now as bad as ever with the lands flooding frequently.
With 5 million Euro having been allocated to Templemore recently for a flood relief scheme, members of the Loughmore Drainage Committee feel that just 2% of this funding, spent in the Loughmore area, could make a huge difference.
An allocation of funding in 2013 for river cleaning at this area was granted but restrictions by the Fisheries Board meant that works were curtailed significantly. And, the flooding problem has continued as before. Our second photo, taken from the same location as the one of the cleaned river in 1989, shows just how badly the river has deteriorated.
“It’s time that something was done about this because this is affecting farmers output and therefore the local economy. If this land was farmable , there would be money spent on fertilisers and lime and employment locally and that would boost the local economy. A little will would go a long way with this - we don’t want to change the world, we just want to clean the river,” said Frank Mockler this week, a member of the Loughmore Drainage Committee.
They are seeking political support for their call.