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Positive Meeting on Flooding in Donegal

Joe McHugh

A PILOT strategy is to be established for the Finn Valley catchment area to address the serious issues which emereged after severe flooding across the area recently.

Fine Gael Minister Joe McHugh arranged a meeting in Dublin this week regarding the flooding in Donegal, following the storm weather we’ve been experiencing and the damage caused by flooding. Present at the meeting were Deputies Dinny McGinley and Thomas Pringle, Councillor Martin Harley, Seamus Neely, CEO of Donegal County Council,  John McLaughlin, Director of Roads and Housing Capital, and Eunan Quinn, Senior Planner for DCC; officials from the OPW, the NPWS Northern Division, the Assistant Secretary General, Dept of Heritage, John Pollock of the Lough’s Agency, and the Principal of IFI, from my own Department of Natural Resources.

“The benefits of all stakeholders meeting together regularly to share information and work together were clear to everyone at the meeting today and we have agreed that for the Finn and its catchment area, we would meet collectively, due to the urgent nature of the issue, to agree both a short term solution for those who have already been badly affected by the flooding, as well as a more long term plan to implement changes in order to avoid a repeat of the same thing happening in the future,” said Minister McHugh

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 He added: “Communication is critical in addressing the challenges of flood damages. There is plenty of information available from each stakeholder, what is needed is for those relevant offices to share that information so we can benefit from the collective. Those present at the meeting today were all equally anxious for this to start happening and I believe this partnership will play an important role in achieving this goal.

“I was extremely pleased that everyone in the meeting came with an attitude of working together, sharing information and resources in order to address the problem and I am grateful that honest and frank discussions took place today. Now real solutions must be found for the Finn and today was the first step in doing so.”

Also speaking at the meeting, Cllr Harley said “I want to use this opportunity to emphasise the importance of communication between the different agencies and the local community from The Twin Towns to Lifford . In particular the CPI building was badly damaged in the recent floods and the importance of the building to the Castlefin community can’t be overlooked.”

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