Motorway construction must not exacerbate flooding

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Construction of the new N17 motorway must not exacerbate flooding in north and south Galway, according to Galway East TD Paul Connaughton.

‘In recent days I have visited a number of areas of East Galway that are affected by flooding. Last Saturday I accompanied Taoiseach Enda Kenny as he visited the region and in recent weeks in my clinics I have heard many harrowing stories of how flooding is affecting families throughout the county.

‘One concern that has been repeatedly raised with me in recent weeks is that construction of the newM17/18 motorway from Tuam to Gort will exacerbate flooding in some areas along the route. I will be contacting the relevant construction companies and government departments in coming days to verify that construction of the new motorway will not lead to any additional flooding. This is just one of a wide range of flooding-related problems that must be addressed in mid and south Galway in coming weeks.

‘Not enough heed was paid to flood plains in the past and householders and land owners need to be reassured that proper recognition was given to flooding in the design and construction of the new motorway.’

‘The issue of relocation also must be addressed. I raised with the Taoiseach on Saturday last the need for a very viable and workable relocation option for those who want to avail of such a measure.

‘The Taoiseach saw at first hand the complicated geography of south Galway and understands the need to resolve these problems in the short term. We also need to ensure that the work that is necessary to protect homes and farmland is carried out as soon as possible and common sense must prevail across all departments. The focus must remain on solving this problem, not creating obstacles to the necessary work and all arms of the state must work together towards this one goal. This area has been devastated by flooding and the people living in this region of south Galway need and deserve a coherent approach that involves every department.’