Scepticism expressed over completion date of Mayo flooding relief works

A councillor has cautioned against too much optimism over the Ballina Flood Relief Scheme being completed by its target year of 2026.

Crossmolina Fianna Fáil Councillor Michael Loftus.

Councillor Michael Loftus told today's meeting of Ballina Municipal District he was 'very sceptical' about that completion date given the experiences they have had in his home town of Crossmolina, which experienced serious flooding in December 2016 but has a scheme that is still awaiting ministerial approval.

Michael O'Grady from Mayo County Council's water services section gave an update on the Ballina scheme at the meeting, outlining that preliminary work has been ongoing since 2015/16, when the town was identified as being at high risk of flooding, especially at Bachelor's Walk, Clare Street and Ridgepool Road.

Consultants were appointed in February of this year and while the lockdown to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic put a halt to some surveying on the ground, work continues to progress during what is stage one of a five-stage plan.

It is hoped that survey work on the ground can commence in late October, said Mr. O'Grady, while a public consultation will be held next week.

A physical public consultation will be held in the Kennedy Glasgow Building at The Quay on Wednesday, September 23, from 4 to 8 p.m., but this will be a ticketed affair to control numbers in the venue at any one time for health and safety reasons.

In response to Councillor Loftus' comments about the delays in Crossmolina, Mr. O'Grady said he believed the timelines they had suggested for Ballina were reasonable but did point out that some things are outside their control.

Public realm works would be taken into consideration, he added, and a meeting had already been held with the architects' section of the council with that in mind, he confirmed.

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