Fine Gael TD and Vice Chairperson of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Transport and Communications Paudie Coffey has described the €1 million-plus funding to be allocated to address the recent damage at Plunkett Station as a positive step.
Deputy Coffey said the allocation of this money underpins the Government’s response to the recent damage caused by the severe weather in Waterford.
“The weekend before last, myself and Minister for the Environment Phil Hogan visited the villages of Passage East and Dunmore East and areas that were affected by the Clodiagh and Suir Rivers bursting their banks,” he said.
“Minister Hogan confirmed to me that financial assistance would be put in place and delivered on that commitment when he announced €70 million worth of funding for repairs.
“The Minister for Social Protection has allocated over €10 million humanitarian funding for replacement of essential household items that have been damaged by the flooding.
“Minister for the OPW Brian Hayes TD has confirmed to me that works are continuing in the city on the flood relief scheme and they are nearing completion.
“I want to commend the workers of the local authorities who have been out day and night assisting local communities in trying to prevent flood waters reaching their homes.
“The weather that we have experienced in recent weeks is unprecedented and has left a trail of destruction right around the country that will take time to clean-up.”
Deputy Coffey added: “I am pleased however that Minister for State Alan Kelly TD has confirmed to me that in excess of €1 million is being provided to both clear up previous rock-falls and protect against future similar occurrences.
“Plunkett Station is a vital part of Waterford’s public transport network and I am hopeful once these works are complete that we will not see a similar occurrence where the track was flooded and rocks fell onto the tracks as well.
“It is important that rail links are kept open for the City’s economy and I hope these essential works will now take place in a timely manner.”
The funding has also been welcomed by Labour RD Ciara Conway, who stated: “The million that’s being made available will be used to help carry out the necessary structural and engineering repairs,and the prevent this happening in future.
“Irish Rail have done good work in terms of making alternatives, and passenger safety is key so this funding will be spent well.”
Last week, this newspaper made the case for Plunkett Station to be relocated on the South Quay, behind the protection of the city’s €22 million flood defences.