OIl or gas has not been discovered in the River Nore at Thomastown. Townspeople and passersby were curious to figure out why a drilling rig with 60 feet high masts was planked in the middle of the river last week. Cllr Michael O’Brien said he was inundated with requests for information about the drilling of holes in the riverbed and the sight of engineers surveying water levels beyond the Weir upstream from the town.
It turns out that the ri is being used to undertake site investigation works in the area of the Quay Wall required to facilitate the design of stabilisation works to be undertaken on the wall and road carriageway. Progressive subsidisation of the wall, which is the main Rosslare route to the Midlands and the West of Ireland, has continued to be a concern of Kilkenny County Council for the past decade. Data from the drill holes will be used to assess hydrological and hydraulic profiles as a means of reducing flood risk to the maximum number of properties. Data will also be used to provide structural assessment of the new Quay wall foundation points. Cllr. O’Brien told the Kilkenny People that the 2010 Flood Risk Management Report for Thomastown recommended that action is needed on a number of flood proofing and awareness measures. These included the short-term commissioning of the study now being undertaken followed by refurbishment of the wall and channel clearance around the bridge as required. The Report also recommended some medium-term improvements downstream to re-profile the confluence of the tributary on the left bank, as well as maintenance of the downstream right bank to improve access of the river to the floodplain. “I am please when any public investment is made in Thomastown, particularly so when this investment is related to flooding which is a constant worry to all of us,” he said.