Minister of State at The Office of Public Works & Flood Relief, Kevin ‘Boxer’ Moran visited Shannon town and the adjacent flood defence embankments fronting the Shannon estuary to announce plans to upgrade those defences and to construct new defences for Shannon town.
This will be a joint project between the Office of Public Works (OPW), Clare County Council and the Shannon Airport Authority, with the Council managing the project overall.
Currently, the airport has some protection from coastal flooding from embankments on its Eastern and Western sides owned by the airport Authority. Shannon town is protected from coastal and tidal flooding by OPW maintained embankments adjacent to those at the airport. These embankments are not constructed to modern engineering standard and require to be upgraded and strengthened in order to provide protection to at least the the 1 in 200 year tidal flood event.
It has been agreed between Shannon Airport Authority and the OPW in conjunction with Clare County Council that the required works to both the airport and town embankments will be brought forward as a single project. It has also been agreed that the proposed measures to address the risk of fluvial flooding to Shannon town as set out in the Shannon river basin Flood Risk Management Plan will be incorporated into this joint project. Clare County Council has agreed to act as the lead authority to progress and manage the project.
A project steering group has been established with representatives of Shannon Airport Authority, the OPW and Clare County Council. The group’s initial task will be to agree a brief for the procurement of engineering and environmental consultants to progress the design of the works and to examine all the required environmental considerations.
Speaking to elected officials, members of Shannon Airport Authority, OPW and County Council officials in Shannon this morning, the Minister said “I am delighted to announce the progression of this joint scheme between the OPW, Clare County Council and the Shannon Airport Authority. This will combine the three separate work elements of the airport embankments upgrade, Shannon town embankments upgrade and the Shannon town fluvial defence works to achieve protection against at least the 1 in 200 year tidal flood event and the 1 in 100 year fluvial flood event.
Flooding can cause devastation to communities and businesses in towns such as Shannon. It can also pose enormous risks to critical regional and national infrastructure such as here at Shannon airport. It is very encouraging therefore to see the three organisations working together to advance this very important joint project.
My commitment as Minister and that of the Government to protect individuals, families, communities and businesses throughout the country against the most serious risk and impact of flooding is underpinned by an allocation of €1 billion in initiatives to protect threatened localities from river and coastal flood risk over the next ten years. This investment forms part of the Ireland 2040 National Development Plan.
I look forward to seeing continued progress on this joint project over the coming years.”