Resident ‘outraged’ at OPW flood defence decision

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A homeowner in a Burnfoot housing estate has said he is “outraged” that the construction of flood defences in Burnfoot is “not viable.”

Gerald Gallagher lives with his family in Pairc an Grianan, and said that flooding can occur sometimes twice in the one year. However, the Office of Public Works (OPW) has decided that the Inishowen village is not suitable for flood defences, according to their own cost benefit analysis, even though it is prone to flooding.

Mr Gallagher said his home has flooded around eight times since he moved in, and he is unable to get home or content insurance.

“It’s a disgrace. I’m outraged at this decision. The last time it flooded we had to put a plank across to get in our front door.

“When there is heavy rain, the treatment plant next door floods, the raw sewerage comes out and goes around the houses,” he said.

Mr Gallagher said “everything” has to be dumped following a flood, and the fact that Burnfoot is not being considered is “scandalous.”

Speaking about the OPW decision, Colr. Jack Murray said it was an “absolute insult”to the community in Burnfoot.

“They do not seem to understand the consequences of flooding when it occurs in the village.

“I have seen the aftermath of a flood which poured into a wastewater treatment plant and forced sewerage into the properties of people living next to it.

“Such a situation is horrifying for the people affected and I believe that they deserve the same protection from flooding as everyone else.

“For the OPW to now announce €60million of funding for flood relief in Donegal but indicate that it’s not worth spending money to address Burnfoot’s problem is totally unacceptable in my view. Economic cost must of course be a factor but what of the distress, fear and danger that people are living under? I believe that their safety should be valued most,” he added.