Seanad debates

Wednesday, 18 November 2020

10:30 am

John Cummins (Fine Gael) | Oireachtas source

I join my colleague in complimenting the Minister of State on his work in this area. I would like to acknowledge the work that has been done by the OPW in my county of Waterford in recent years. Thankfully, there has been tremendous investment in flood defences. More than €25 million has been spent to protect Waterford city and €1 million has been spent in Passage East. There have been minor schemes in Clonea and works at an outlet in Duckspool, Dungarvan. I would like to put on the record my thanks to the Minister of State, the Department and the OPW for the investment that has been made.

When one is based in a certain area, as I am in Waterford city, it is very easy to forget the devastation faced by communities and businesses. I can recall the devastation in Poleberry when I was the Mayor of Waterford. Sandbags were put in place to stop the tide coming in on a second night of flooding. When I see the watermark on the glass walls along Waterside and the Waterford quayside, I look at the water and realise that if it was not for the flood defences, we would be trying to pump water out of our businesses.

It is important to acknowledge the work that has been done by the OPW as well as looking forward to continued investment. To that end, I note that the council would thank the Minister of State for help with advancing schemes in Aglish and Ballyduff in the next calendar year. A significant plan will have to be submitted to the Minister of State's Department next year. It envisages flood defence works in Duckspool, at Davitt's Quay and at the Lookout as well as additional drainage works in Dungarvan. Perhaps the Minister of State will have an opportunity to visit that area in the new year. It needs investment, as other Members have said about their own areas. I look forward to working constructively with the Minister of State in the time ahead to realise investment in these critical areas. I thank him again for the investment that has gone into County Waterford.

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