Sandymount Flood Defences Fiasco

10 year delay in flood defence totally unacceptable

The Sandymount and Merrion Residents’ Association (SAMRA) has said that the ten-year delay in the start of construction of enhanced flood defences along Strand Road in Sandymount was totally unacceptable.

While there are flood defences currently in place, the enhanced flood defences are needed to deal with climate changes predicted to occur between now and 2100. The works were originally due to start in 2019.

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SAMRA said it is seeking an urgent meeting with Minister Patrick O’Donovan, Minister for Office of Public Works, and the Head of Flood Risk Management at the OPW, whom it met with in December 2022 and was given assurances that the issue would be dealt with as a matter of urgency. An engineering design consultant was to be appointed in the Spring 2023. “Delaying these enhancements until 2032 are unacceptable,” said Chairman of SAMRA David Turner.

He continued: “OPW is the national agency responsible for flood defences. We want it to get a grip on this and apply maximum urgency as was agreed last year. It is beyond belief that we are still getting one excuse after another.”

“What are we paying our property taxes for?” he added.

In a recent interview with the Irish Times local councillor Dermot Lacey said:

“I am genuinely shocked by this delay. The notion that people, whose homes are flooding, or are at risk of flooding, and can’t get flood insurance, are being told they would have to wait another eight years or more is shameful. This highlights the disaster that is the absurd decision-making process of the State apparatus. This is surely something that can be done within the expertise of the city council. We are not asking for something to be done a bit quicker, we are asking to catch up on 20 years of non-action.”