Kilkenny town hit three times this year by floods

Darren Hassett writes that Cllr Michael McCarthy says ‘excuses no longer acceptable’

Darren Hassett


Darren Hassett


Freshford flooded again

The Johnstown Road, Freshford flooded earlier this year

A councillor has called for Kilkenny’s local authority to avail of funding under the Minor Works Scheme to mitigate flooding in Freshford.

Fianna Fáil Cllr Michael McCarthy raised the issue of flooding on the Johnstown Road at a recent meeting of Castlecomer Municipal District.

He said: “Freshford, in particular the Johnstown Road, has been a scene of major concern for residents who have suffered not once, not twice but three times in 2018 with a worrying trend of deep and dangerous flooding.

Cllr McCarthy said “people are rightly concerned as to their own safety, the safety of their homes and also to the implications insurance wise”.

Speaking at the meeting, he said: “Historically, Freshford has always statistically been identified as a notable flood plain however these regular occurrences are far too frequent and something drastically needs to be done to alleviate this problem.

“The flood risk management plans under the Catchment Flood Risk Assessment and Management programme has carried out a number of consultations over the last few years including one in Freshford. The evidence has been gathered and therefore excuses are no longer acceptable.”

Cllr McCarthy said he has learned following discussions with Junior Minister for the Office of Public Works, Kevin ‘Boxer’ Moran, that Freshford can immediately avail of a Minor Works Scheme which can be progressed by the local authority with full funding from the Department.

He added: “This particular scheme is due to end in 2018 but thankfully a further three year plan will be put in place.

“As a matter of urgency I am calling on the Council in conjunction with the Roads Engineer and the Area Engineer to swiftly identify a solution to this flooding and progress an application under the Minor Works Scheme for work to be carried out.

“As an interim measure the old box drain on the Johnstown Road should be reinstated. While this will not necessarily alleviate the flooding it would certainly control the levels until the emergency personnel arrive and thereby ease anxiety and stress for residents in the area.”

Cllr Pat Fitzpatrick said the OPW have adopted a “mushroom effect” on informing councillors of flood mitigation works and said it was “keep us in the dark and feed us you know what”.