The threat of flooding along the River Galey in Athea was subject to much discussion at Thursday’s Limerick City and County Council meeting.
Councillor Liam Galvin raised the issue.
“If the rain that fell in Donegal had of fell in West Limerick, we would of had severe difficulties,” he said.
“Farmers had tried to keep the river levels down for years, but it’s got to a stage where no-one seems to know who is responsible. It’s a nightmare. We need one state agency for rivers, seas and lakes,” said Cllr Galvin.
He proposed that the council send in a motion to the Minister, “with the responsibility” and to call on the government to have one state agency responsible.
Other councillors echoed his sentiments.
“The previous flooding that has happened in Athea is still raw within the parish. I fully support this proposal. We need to get rid of the bureaucracy and paperwork here,” said Cllr Ciara McMahon.
“The local primary school have just put in an all-weather pitch. They really fear they will lose that pitch if the river floods,” stated Cllr Séamus Browne.
“This is a timely motion coming into winter. A huge discussion needs to be had at a national level,” Cllr Emmett O’Brien added.
There were a number of calls from councillors to “use common sense here”.
Councillor John Gilligan said, “We’re under control of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). There’s a dump growing by King John’s castle, but we can’t get rid of it because they say it’s a protected area. It must be the only protected dump in the world”.
“The EPA are on a totally different planet. Unless we repeal that law giving them control all along the Shannon,” expressed Cllr Gilligan.
Cllr Jerome Scanlan said, “We don’t need to be tied up by bureaucracy and legislation. We need to bring common sense back into the equation.”