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Recent Flooding
Since the middle of November our area has been badly affected by flooding and as a result over twenty families had to leave their homes and others had to be evacuated for a short time as the entrances to their homes was badly flooded. The areas most badly affected were Caherlea/Lisheenvalla, Carnmore, Kiltulla, Cloonacauneen, Cloonbiggeen and Cregboy.. Were it not for the excellent work done by our community a lot more damage would have been caused. The community spirit was shown at its best. Now that the water has receded answers will have to be sought as to why our area was so badly affected. Our area has been visited by both the Taoiseach and the Minister in charge of the Office of Public Works who saw the effects of the flooding at first hand.

We have since been told that the Government is to allocate the sum of seventy million euro towards homes and businesses that have been affected along with animal feed that has been destroyed. On December 14th a special meeting of the Council was held at my request to discuss the recent flooding with officers from the Office of Public Works   Deputy Noel Grealish has been in touch with both the Minister for Transport and the Taoiseach seeking funding for Galway Co. Co. to repair the roads that have been damaged by the flooding. The County Manager has already put an estimate of four million euro as being the sum required. The Minister has advised Deputy Grealish that the council should make a full estimate of the cost to the council of the flooding and send it to him and he will work with Deputy Grealish on this matter.

On December 8th. Deputy Grealish and myself met with the Traoiseach and pressed upon him the need to provide adequate assistance to people who were directly affected by the flooding. It is my understanding that the Minister with responsibility for the Office of Public Works will come to Claregalway to see what is required to be done and that a meeting is to take place place between all the Oireachtas members and the Minister on the 16th December. In the meantime I have organised with the council to provide skips etc to householders who were flooded so that the damaged household items could be removed. On Tuesday night December 15th a very well attended meeting was held at the Nine Arches Hotel between the people who were directly affected by the recent flooding in our area and representatives of the Office of Public Works. Another meeting will be held early in the new year to review progress by the Office of Public Works.

Claregalway By-Pass/Inner relief Road
The EIS study on the route of this road has been completed and the report will be going to An Bord Pleanala either before Christmas or early in the new year. Some people continually cast doubts about whether this road will ever be constructed. I can tell you that on December 8th. this was one of a number of issues that was discussed with the Taoiseach by Deputy Noel Grealish and myself. You will be aware that Deputy Grealish made it a condition for his support of the Government after the last general election and it was written into the programme for Government. Since then  the Progressive Democrats Political Party has been wound down so Deputy Grealish is now an independent T.D. for Galway West. As a result of the meeting with the Taoiseach and the Minister for Transport Noel Dempsey Deputy Grealish has now received a letter which states very clearly that as soon as the EIS report is received by An Bord Pleanala and assuming that everything is in order that funding for the design and CPO of the lands required  will be provided in 2010. The Department will fully fund the road and when developments take place along the route of this roadway in future years the Department will be able to recoup some of this money by way of development contributions.

Claregalway Sewerage Scheme
This is a project which has been on the go for a long time and yet the contract has still to be awarded. It was one of a number of issues which Deputy Grealish raised with the Taoiseach in December and he was given an undertaking that it was going to be treated as a priority for 2010.

Now that Christmas is upon us can I wish ye all a very Happy Christmas  and good health and good luck for the New Year.

Feel free to contact me any time at 798 136 or 087 636 0242 or you can e-mail me at jcuddy@cllr.galwaycoco.ie.