It’s not quite what we were all hoping for given the increasing levels of anxiety and stress in South Galway as we near the winter rains but there has been a dramatic decision for South Galway Flooding solution.
After 8 months of deliberation a decision has been made :
On the week of the 12th Sept 2016 Galway County Council has now proposed themselves as the lead agency for delivering a solution to South Galway Flooding
Major schemes (which are over €500,000 and require normally EIS, and subject to An Bord Pleanala approval etc) are normally done by OPW but sometimes councils become lead agency. After months wasted in this deliberation – The OPW have finally asked Galway County Council to submit a proposal to the OPW to become the lead agency for delivering a proper channel from Coole + surrounding communities to the sea. Wahoo!! [It’s ok, my sacrasm has just peaked]
Honestly – Is this all we have right now? A proposal on whose responsibility it is for designing and delivering a flooding solution. What we don’t have is some working on the ground joining up the basins in South Galway.
- We don’t have a digger on the ground making the situation better for the upcoming winter. We don’t have any new culverts that can take water to the sea!
- We don’t have someone out taking levels
- We don’t have someone submitting applications for review
- We don’t have someone designing a solution
There is nobody actually ‘looking’ at a solution right now ….. and (it gets worse) – there is nobody to do this work.
Galway County Council have recently moved people experienced with these types of projects.
“Concerns have been highlight that engineering staff who had been dealing with flooding in Gort and Portumna have now been transferred to other areas, including Tuam. However, Galway County Council says every effort is being made to replace staff who have left or moved on to other districts.”– Connacht Tribune
Picture this in the business world – you have what you are deeming to be a high-priority task that needs to be delivered in a timely manner- do you ask an under-resourced, non-competent supplier to become the project lead? You would go out of business very quickly if you did. So what is really happening here? Is our Minister for OPW and Flood Relief, Sean Canney and the OPW simply passing the buck? Have we been witnessing a slow-motion game of hot-potato between OPW and Galway County Council? At the end of the day the ultimate responsibility lies with Minister for OPW and Flood Relief but he has now placed this into Minister Simon Coveney’s hands.
Aside : Galway County Council seems to have the resources to be submitting proposals for the upgrade of 50 roads in Galway but have no resources for looking at flooding solutions. In fact some of these road upgrades will have severe flooding consequences and make some situations even worse.
Galway County council has a proposed list of other minor works schemes (Build an embankment here, raise the road there, build a wall here …) but compared to what the community is looking for, this is just noise
The patience in this community in wearing very thin with the lack of progress and people will either look for action … or take it themselves.