EXCLUSIVE

The Government has yet to approve any of the €12.1 million promised for strengthening Clare’s coastal sea defences, which were battered during unprecedented storms earlier this year.
The Clare People has learned this evening that the €12.1 million in funding has not yet be signed off on by Government and cannot therefore be distributed by the Office of Public Works [OPW] to Clare County Council.
The Chief Executive of Clare County Council, Tom Coughlan wrote to all councillors this afternoon (Friday) informing them of the situation.
This revelation comes after a series of communications between the OPW and Clare County Council in recent days, including a top level meeting which took place in Ennis on Thursday.
The revelation means that Government funding has been set aside for the repairs of damaged structures only, and that no funding to protect communities from future flooding, in areas that currently have no defences, has been allocated.
“The Chief Executive has today been formally advised by the OPW that funding for any such additional strengthening works, ie the €12.1 million submission, has not been approved by Government,” said Cllr Ian Lynch (IND).
“As no funding has been made available by Government for strengthening works the OPW has indicated that the matter of OPW consideration of the €12.1m works submission does not arise.
“The OPW has not been mandated by Government decision to consider any matters relating to funding for strengthening works and the OPW has pointed out that funding for such works was specifically excluded from the scope of the Government decision made at this point.”

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