November 9, 2023
Sinn Féin legislation to establish authority to manage River Shannon should be progressed – Claire Kerrane TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Agriculture, Claire Kerrane TD, has called on the Government to allow her party’s legislation to establish one authority to manage the River Shannon be progressed.
 
The legislation, introduced by Teachtaí Kerrane, Kenny and Clarke, was debated in the Dáil in November 2020 and blocked by Government.
 
Speaking this morning, Teachta Kerrane said:
 
“Last night, the Agriculture Committee heard from Farmers who are part of the ‘Save Our Shannon Organisation’, whom I had arranged come before the Committee, to outline the reality of the Summer flooding in the Shannon Callows.
 
“These Farmers are experiencing the longest summer flood ever, with thousands of hectares of land under water preventing Farmers from grazing land and saving hay and silage.
 
“While Minister McConalogue has made a funding announcement this week, the wider issue here is the constant flooding and the threat this poses to farming in the Shannon Callows.
 
“The flooding of the River Shannon is a vicious circle: flooding happens, it’s talked about, the water disappears, the discussion ends and then the flooding occurs again. This cannot be allowed to continue.
 
“The bigger picture here is establishing a single Agency to manage and take responsibility for the River. Doing so will protect Farmers from this level of flooding and also allow them the freedom to farm and continue to the next generation. This is long overdue.
 
“After the 2020 General election, Sinn Féin prioritised drafting legislation to establish a single authority to manage the River Shannon. The legislation was introduced in October 2020 and debated in the Dáil in November 2020.

“The Minister with responsibility for the OPW, Patrick O’Donovan, stated that he needed nine months to prepare his own Government legislation to do the same thing – that was three years ago.
 
“The latest update I have from Minister O’Donovan is that the OPW are finalising legislative options to establish such an Authority. This is ridiculous after three years. 
 
“The legislation is sitting there and it is needed. Government should allow our legislation to progress to pre-legislative scrutiny and allow stakeholders, including the Save Our Shannon Organisation, to comment and engage on it.
 
“The Government must work collaboratively to get this legislation made law and an Authority established. There is no excuse for any further delay.”

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