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Minister O’Donovan visits flood relief scheme and heritage site in Co. Wicklow

Minister of State with responsibility for the Office of Public Works (OPW), Patrick O’Donovan, T.D., today visited County Wicklow at the invitation of Minister Simon Harris. At their first stop in Arklow, the two Ministers had the opportunity to meet with OPW engineers and local councillors to familiarise themselves with the proposed flood relief scheme developed there to address the risks of coastal and fluvial flooding in the town.

Speaking after this meeting, Minister O’Donovan said:

“The proposed scheme will involve the construction of flood defences and an embankment, as well as conveyance improvements in the Avoca River, including deepening of the river channel, the introduction of new debris and gravel traps, public realm improvements, and strengthening works to the existing quay walls and Arklow Bridge. It has an estimated total project budget of €28.5m and is currently at planning stage with An Bord Pleanála following the completion of an Environmental Impact Assessment Report (EIAR) and a Natura Impact Assessment (NIS).

The second stop on their itinerary was the sixth-century ‘Monastic City’ of Glendalough, which attracts over 700,000 visitors a year. Minister O’Donovan and Minister Harris visited the interpretive centre first before exploring the remains of St Kevin’s monastery with its superb round tower, numerous medieval stone churches and decorated crosses.

Having recently launched the “Protect our Past” campaign to raise awareness of the vulnerability and significance of Ireland’s national monuments, Minister O’Donovan emphasised their importance to our understanding of the past, our wellbeing and our future legacy.”

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