A Government support of €7m for a planned programme of maintenance works including removing constrictions or "pinch points" on the bed of the River Shannon has been granted.

The announcement was made by Minister of State with special responsibility for the Office of Public Works and flood relief, Kevin "Boxer" Moran.

As previously reported by the Irish Farmers Journal, a map was produced for the Office of Public Works showing the location of the 16 underwater obstacles, termed pinch points, which are to be cleared from the River Shannon this year. These pinch points are located at the Callows region between Athlone and Meelick weir.

The flood risk management plans, launched in May 2018, are expected to protect 95% of properties at significant risk of flooding along the Shannon by the delivery of 47 flood relief schemes over the coming decade.

IFA response

The IFA Roscommon county chair Jim O’Connor said that although he welcomes the fund, it is long overdue and is not nearly enough.

“We have been lobbying for this for years, and although we welcome any money that can help improve the river, I hope it doesn’t get spent on all the studies that have to be done first.”

“There are so many people along the river Shannon that are at a disadvantage because of the rising water levels, there’s entire areas that need work.

We have been lobbying for this for years

“It will take significant funding and there’s major issues with the flooding Eastern side of the river that will take pipes and other major works to get those levels down,” he added.

O’Connor pointed out that there will have to be work completed on Lough Rea, Lough Funshinagh and many other parts of the Shannon estuary that will need “considerable work” to keep private properties and farms safe from flooding.

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