Enniscorthy Flood Defence Scheme

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The town of Enniscorthy, located on the banks of the River Slaney, has a long history of flooding. Extreme floods have occurred in 1924, 1947, 1965, 2000 and more recently in 2015. Flooding represents a risk to health and safety and has resulted in significant property damage and traffic disruption in the town. Flooding has adversely affected commercial activity in the town and its environs.

The Office of Public Works (OPW) in conjunction with Wexford County Council (WCC) undertook the development of a flood relief scheme for the town which was presented for Public Exhibition in Enniscorthy Library in 2019. The proposed scheme covered a 3.5km stretch of the River Slaney, extending from 1.5km upstream of Enniscorthy Bridge to 2km downstream. The main elements of the scheme included the construction of flood defence walls, river channel works, the removal of the Seamus Rafter bridge in the town centre and its replacement with a new pedestrian bridge and new road bridge. In 2020, the Office Of Public Works submitted the proposed scheme to the Department of Public Expenditure & Reform for approval. In 2022 the Department made the decision to refuse this Scheme under Section 7E(1)(b) of the Arterial Drainage Acts (as amended by the European Union (Environmental Impact Assessment) (Arterial Drainage) Regulations 2019). Details of the proposed scheme and the Ministers decision are available here.

Current Status 2024

The Office of Public Works (OPW) and Wexford County Council (WCC) are continuing the work of delivering an effective flood relief scheme for Enniscorthy, to provide this community with much-needed protection from extreme flood events, both now and into the future. The scheme is a critically required infrastructural investment in Enniscorthy town, which will serve to protect over 300 homes and businesses in the area from the ongoing risk of flooding.

The Enniscorthy Flood Relief Scheme will be delivered on a phased basis.

Phase 1 of the scheme will involve the removal of the Seamus Rafter Bridge which poses a significant obstruction to river flow through the town centre during flood events. Phase 1 will also include the construction of a new road bridge and new pedestrian bridge to replace the Seamus Rafter Bridge, at a suitable location above the predicted flood levels.

Phase 2 of the scheme will involve the construction of the remaining flood relief works required for the town.

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