Questions on opposition to Ballyhale flood plans

Works to cost an estimated €430,000

Darren Hassett

Reporter:

Darren Hassett

Email:

darren.hassett@kilkennypeople.ie

Kilkenny Kilkenny Kilkenny

The diversion of flow will go right by the Ballyhale Shamrocks dressing rooms

A local TD has raised the flood relief works for Ballyhale with a senior Government minister over local opposition to the plans.

The Kilkenny People previously revealed that Ballyhale Shamrocks – one of Ireland’s most successful hurling clubs – is at risk of being destroyed by flood relief measures proposed by the Office of Public Works.

At an estimated cost of €430,000 the works will see the Little Arrigle River in the village being diverted right through the club’s GAA grounds.

Fianna Fáil’s Bobby Aylward asked the Minister for Public Expenditure his views on the public objection and local opposition to aspects of the proposed flood relief plans for Ballyhale.

In response, Minister Paschal Donohue said the scheme is “outline design only, which means they are not, at this point, final, definitive, nor ready for construction”.

The Minister said local information that was not captured at the plan-level assessment will be collected and assessed by Kilkenny County Council during the next stage of development for the project and “may potentially give rise to changes to the proposed works”.

He added: “The proposed works set out in the current outline may therefore be subject to some amendments prior to implementation.

“It is acknowledged that the route of the proposed diversion channel as shown in the outline plan is through lands owned by the Ballyhale Shamrock GAA club.

“However, as this proposal is at outline design stage and subject to further consultation, there is scope for addressing the concerns of the Ballyhale community prior to the design of the proposed works being finalised.”

Cllr David Kennedy previously said: “In most small rural villages the local GAA fields are the heartbeat of the community and I will be campaigning vigorously against these plans going ahead.”

The relief proposals for Kilkenny - which in all will affect six towns across the county - were passed by Kilkenny County Council with an amendment earlier this year.

The amendment recommended the adoption of the plans “but only with full consultation and agreement with affected communities, public and all groups and organisations”.