Contract sealed to design defences for flood-ravaged Laois town

Conor Ganly

Reporter:

Conor Ganly

mountmellick flooding

Evacuation in Mountmellick in November 2017. Pic Kevin Byrne

Laois County Council has sealed the deal to design multi-million euro flood defences in Mountmellick.

The local authority has signed a contract with JBA Consulting JB Barry and Partners Joint Venture to advance the detailed design and implementation of the Mountmellick Flood Relief Scheme.   

It follows a record-breaking flood in Mountmellick in November 2017 which caused extensive substantial parts of the town. Laois County Council says a total of 88 properties were inundated and other, significant, infrastructural damage and economic loss. More below picture.

Pictured: Back from left to right: Juan Carlos Johnson(OPW), Shane Loughrey (OPW), Ciara McGuinness (OPW), Anne Marie Conibear (JB Barry and Partners), Gerry  Gallagher (OPW), Paul McLoughlin (LCC), Simon Walton (LCC) Councillor Paddy Bracken

Seated: Paul Kiernan (OPW), Cathaoirleach William Aird, John Mulholland, Chief Executive – Laois County Council, Elizabeth Russell (JBA Consulting) Jonathon Cooper (JBA Consulting)

Council Cathaoirleach Cllr Willie Aird acknowledged the Office of Public Works for providing funding for the scheme. A statement said he and other local representatives welcomed reaching the milestone for the scheme and urged that the project be advanced as quickly as possible.

Paul McLoughlin, Laois County Council’s Project Manager for the Scheme, confirmed that the Mountmellick Flood Relief Scheme, identified by the OPW to be in the top 50 priority flood relief schemes for Ireland, is included for completion in the current National Development Plan. 

Mr Simon Walton, Laois County Council Director of Services, said a Public Engagement Day will be held in the Mountmellick Development Association on November 13 where the consultant, representatives of the OPW and Laois County Council will be present and available to discuss the 2017 event and would welcome all information, feedback from local people that, in turn, can be used to advise the design process.

The design work is set to be the most time-consuming part of the project. The council confirmed recently that project is expected to be completed by December 2022. Construction work is set to commence in August 2022.

The cost of the scheme is set to exceed €3 million.

Portarlington and Clonaslee are also scheduled to get new defences. Both communities were also hit by the flooding on November 22, 2017.

The design deal was signed on Wednesday, October 23 on behalf of the council by Cllr Aird and Laois County Council's Chief Executive John Mulholland.