Flood relief funding secure despite setback

Flood relief funding secure despite setback

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The flooded grounds of St Flannan’s College in Ennis – File Photo: © Pat Flynn 2015

Funding for the proposed Ennis South Flood Relief Scheme is secure despite a setback with the progression of the project.

Clare’s Junior Minister Pat Breen has expressed his disappointment that the preferred contractor for the Ennis South Flood Relief Scheme has formally withdrawn the tender, but has received assurances that funding for the project has been ring fenced and work will go ahead early next year.

Minister Breen said, “I was disappointed to learn that the work on the Ennis South Flood Relief Scheme will inevitably be delayed slightly as the project must go to tender again, but I have been assured by my colleague, Minister of State for the Office of Public Works and Flood Relief Kevin “Boxer Moran”, that work will begin on the project in the shortest possible timeframe.

“As this is a repeat tender much of the preparatory work has already been completed, so work is expected to begin on site early next year. I have been assured by Clare County Council that the tender will be advertised before the end of this month, and this element of the process will be completed before the end of September.

“I was also informed that a contractor will be appointed by the end of the year and work will begin in early 2019,” he added.

“I spoke with Minister Moran on the issue and he has confirmed to me that the €8.6m funding for the project is secure, and will be available to complete this final element in the €39m programme of works for Ennis. He has also confirmed that the process will be completed in the shortest possible timeframe.

Photo: © Pat Flynn 2015

“Meanwhile the ongoing land acquisition process will continue at Clare County Council,” added Minster Breen.

“It is imperative that all bodies continue to work together to ensure the new contractor is in place as soon as possible, and I would like to assure those living in the affected area of Ennis that I will continue to do everything I can to ensure this project remains a priority within the OPW. I would also like to acknowledge the rapid response of Clare County Council, the OPW and Minister Moran to the issue once it became apparent a new contractor would have to be sought.”

“I will continue to  remain in close contact with Minister Moran, the OPW and Clare County Council in the coming weeks and months on this issue, and I look forward to work beginning on the project in the shortest possible timeframe.”

In it’s management report Clare County Council confirmed that “following a contractual issue, the preferred Contractor for this scheme has formally withdrawn their Tender and with OPW approval, the current competition is being cancelled and will be re-tendered at the earliest juncture.”

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Chief Reporter Pat Flynn has worked as a journalist for almost 30 years. His career began during the late 1980s when, like many aspiring radio presenters of the time, he worked for local pirate radio stations in Clare and Limerick. Pat joined Clare FM in 1990 where he worked as researcher initially and later presented several different programmes including the station's flagship current affairs programme. He was also the station's News Editor and Deputy Controller of Programmes. Despite leaving in 2003 to pursue a career as a freelance journalist, he continues to work with the station to this day. As well as being the Clare Herald’s Chief Reporter Pat is also freelance journalist and broadcaster, contributing to Ireland’s national newspapers and is a regular contributor to national broadcasters.

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