Wicklow Sinn Féin TD has said that the failure to properly maintain the River Dargle flood protection scheme risks completely undermining the €46 million project. He made his comments following the failure of the council to remove hundreds of tonnes of material that had been removed from the river and deposited on a flood overflow area at Rehills Land along the Dargle in Bray.
Deputy Brady said “The Dargle River flood protection scheme was officially opened in 2017 and cost €46 million to construct. A critical component of the scheme was its maintenance which includes the emptying of any debris washed down the river and the emptying of the natural silt tract at the Slang which is located at Rehills Land adjacent to the Dargle Road. Unfortunately, the last time the debris and silt were removed from the Dargle it was deposited on an important flood overflow area which is a critical area in the event of a flood occurring.”
“The overflow area acts as a storage area for flood water in the event of a flood and any reduction in its capacity risks undermining the entire €46 million project.”
Deputy Brady continued “At the same location there is also a large section of a temporary bridge in the river. This bridge was used during the construction of the flood scheme and it has been damaged during floods and has since ended up within the river itself. This is really dangerous as it could possibly get washed down the river in a flood and dam up the river creating serious repercussions up stream.”
Cllr Grace McManus added “Worried residents of Bray have been raising these maintenance issues with us, and we want to ensure all concerned that we hear them, we recognise the significance of this work, and we are raising these important matters with the council. Nobody knows the river better than the residents of Bray who have lived through flooding, and if we listen when they share their wisdom, we all benefit. I hope we will see this issue resolved without delay.”
Deputy Brady concluded “These issues and concerns have been raised with the council and unfortunately to date no action has been taken to address them. The flood protection scheme came about following many years of campaigning by the community of Little Bray. Since its completion it has given reassurance to the community, however the scheme will be only effective if there is proper maintenance of it and I urge the council to ensure that a proper plan is in place for it.”