Major Milestone for South Galway Flood Relief Scheme

Galway County Council is seeking tenders from suitably qualified Consultant Engineers for the assessment and development of a flood relief scheme and other measures to manage the flood risk in the Gort Lowlands. The project will entail a Feasibility Study, Public Exhibition, Detailed Design, and Construction. The  South Galway Flood Relief Scheme Brief tender documents have been completed and are now up on the eTenders site. (It is possible to register as ‘public interest’ and access the PDF.)


What is the project brief?

Galway County Council (GCC) is the lead agency with responsibility to progress a flood-relief solution but will not be involved in the design or construction of flood relief solutions. It will tender for engineering/construction companies to design and manage the construction of a flood relief scheme. The ‘Project Brief’ defines the scope of work for the project, process, deliverables, costing-Benefit methodology etc. It is a high-level definition of the project and is the starting point for any flood relief design scheme

In all the talk about flooding over the past 20 years, we have never had this type of progressive plan and momentum – so it’s a very positive milestone that we’re on the right path

How long has this taken?

It’s been almost a year since OPW requested that Galway County Council become the lead agency in progressing a flood-relief solution and in beginning of October 2017 Minister Sean Canney, and OPW approved funding to develop a project brief and assign a full-time project manager for this scheme.   Unfortunately, it took almost 3 months to assign a project manager amid the turmoil of Galway County Council losing their director of services, Mr Liam Gavin (RIP)  due to illness.

In January 2017, Mr Enda Gallagher, became project engineer for the South Galway – Gort Lowlands project and took up the reins and started to develop the brief. This is a complex area and there are complex relationships and dependencies (such as GSI providing Hydrology models)  and multiple stakeholders and the brief took several months to converge, toward end of April.  I think a few other things happened

  • There was new European environmental legislation being put into Irish law and the brief needed to reflect this
  • The brief was require to adhere to more of a CFRAM template
  • It needed to join the queue of OPW contracts to be finalized

So we are in August now and the project briefs has just been published. This has not been a patient wait for the people of South Galway but at least now we are at the official starting point and most deliveries from now on are a distinctive part of the contract.

This is a complex area and we’re prefer more up-front attention-to-detail (even in a brief) than taking shortcuts that would come back to haunt us later.

What happens next?

The next phase of this is that Galway County Council receive expressions of interest and tenders from Engineering Design Consultancy firms by 19th September 2017 and then selects one of these firms for the project.



This firm will then complete

  • Feasibility Study (within 8 months of Commencement)
  • Design, EIS and screening
  • Public consultation
  • Detailed Design
  • Tendering
  • Oversee Construction
  • Project Handover

A rough timeline would be something like this.  The indeterminate times are times for approvals etc.


The aim is to have diggers on the ground in 2020 which has been reiterated by Galway County Council and Sean Canney.

On the right path…

Even though we are still in early phases, we would like to acknowledge the support of Deputy Sean Canney for driving for this with support from Minister Ciaran Canon and Deputy Anne Rabbitte. Also acknowledgement to Galway County Council and OPW how have kept this in priority over the past months.  Acknowledgements also to our proactive County Councillors who continue to push for solutions and keep this as a priority for South Galway (you know who you are!)

We will continue to monitor this closely and we will continue to rely on you for support through this process – please continue your great support!

-David Murray

Chair  SGFRC  (South Galway Flood Relief Committee)


Author: David Murray

Dave is a 'Solution Architect' with a hi-tech company called Arm. He is deeply involved in his community and his two key focuses are based around the rivers of South Galway. He is an activist in getting flood relief solutions in place for South Galway after decades of empty promises and also is also helping to progress a beautiful Gort River Walk for the South Galway/North Clare communities.

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