Laois County Council and OPW meet today to discuss Mountmellick floods

Michelle Hogan

Reporter:

Michelle Hogan

flooding mountmellick

Height of the Mountmellick floods. Pic: Kevin Byrne

A meeting will take place today January 18, almost two months after severe flooding hit Mountmellick and surrounding areas, to start the plan for flood relief in the town.

It is understood that no public representatives or members of the public were involved in the meeting.

The meeting will be held today between senior members of Laois County Council and the Office of Public Works on the ground in Mountmellick.

The point of the meeting is to go out and see the areas that need flood relief measures to give context to further talks about what flood relief can be put in place.

Watch: Mountmellick under water as people are evacuated from homes and businesses are flooded.

Cllr Paddy Bracken requested an update from Laois County Council at the Borris-in-Ossory/Mountmellick Municipal District meeting on January 18.

“There is still a big fear out there, some homes are still not habitable, some are waiting on insurance and some are still waiting on the Department of Social Protection,” he said.

Senior Executive Engineer at Laois County Council, Paul McLoughlin said that the CEO John Mulholland had written to the OPW requesting a meeting which is taking place today, January 18.

“The CEO wrote to the OPW. They are meeting this afternoon to initiate discussion for flood relief. They will work on the ground to give context to future talks and get to know the lie of the land,” he said.

The local authority has met with the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPW) which said that the council needs to look collectively across the county when it plans river cleaning and drainage.

The NPW said that Laois County Council should have a “coordinated approach” and Paul McLoughlin added that they do have the expertise in this area.

Watch: Up to 170 children rescued during Mountmellick flood leaving creche damaged.

Cllr Bracken has asked Laois County Council to consider short term flood defenses in homes that he says “are going to flood again”.

“They are all going to flood again, there no doubt about that. Flood defences as in door protection that can be fitted to houses would be some small comfort in the short term. It has been done in other places. The urgency of flood defences has to be a priority,” Cllr Bracken said.

Read more: Mountmellick woman Janet Stewart fundraising to get a defibrillator for the town.