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Inland Fisheries Ireland Issues Statement On Response To Flooding Crisis

22nd January 2016

#Flooding - Inland Fisheries Ireland has issued a statement in response to the ongoing flooding crisis across the country following last month's winter storms.

Citing its history of working "in a positive and proactive manner" with the Government, State agencies, local authorities and others on the drainage and management of surface waters, IFI says it "will work with all relevant parties in expediting emergency flood relief works."

Following the recent meeting on the Shannon flooding crisis, IFI says it has offered emergency assistance on the ground, and suggested that the Local Authority (Works) Act 1949 be used as a legal instrument by which "exemptions for emergency in stream works could be progressed".

According to IFI chief executive Dr Ciaran Byrne: “Fisheries legislation provides for a closed season for undertaking instream works. However, in emergency circumstances, such as those currently being experienced, the 1949 Act provides for the relevant minister to issue an exemption subject to taking precautions and making provisions for the protection of fisheries.”

Cork County Council has already requested exemption from the closed season for instream works from now through to the end of 2017, though IFI says that falls beyond the scope of the Act, which only provides for emergency works.

Regardless, IFI maintains that it will continue to work with Cork County Council on the removal of excess gravel from the Bandon River downstream of Bandon's old road bridge "to allay fears that these gravels may cause flooding".

IFI's statement adds that it looks forward to the successful implementation of the upcoming OPW Bandon Main Drainage Scheme.

Scheduled to begin in June this year, the works will see the rock bed of the river lowered by up to 2m in the heart of the town, tapering downstream for up to 3.5km.

This scheme was agreed several years ago and was prepared by the OPW following consultation and consultative reports. It includes provision for a fisheries habitat rehabilitation programme once the design bed levels and flood conveyance capacity are achieved.

Published in Inland Waterways
MacDara Conroy

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MacDara Conroy

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MacDara Conroy is a contributor covering all things on the water, from boating and wildlife to science and business

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