Comment : River Dargle Flood Scheme

The is the River Dargle Flood Scheme under construction in October 2016. It shows how the contractor has been using the River Dargle – a nationally important sea trout fishery and habitat for the Annex II listed River Lamprey, the Annex II listed Atlantic salmon and the critically endangered European eel – as a construction road. This video was taken in late-October 2016 during the salmonid close season.

One of the completed sections of the scheme is also shown, with archaic and unsuitable river restoration measures consisting of a featureless linear channel (the construction access road) and blanket infilling with hard substrate.

There is no evidence of any water quality or ecology mitigation being implemented during the construction of the River Dargle Flood Defence Scheme

Photos from the River Dargle Flood Defence Scheme are provided below. It is clear from these photos that no concessions were made in relation to ecology during any phase of this project. Incredibly, the scheme newsletter and information videos claim that there was an ‘Environmental Monitoring Committee‘ overlooking this scheme that included representatives from Inland Fisheries Ireland and the National Parks and Wildlife Service.

There is however no evidence of any effective measures being taken in the design and implementation of the River Dargle Flood Defence Scheme to protect aquatic ecology and water quality.

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The next video below shows the water quality “mitigation” used on the River Dargle Flood Scheme- a silt curtain turned into a weir! This is clearly totally ineffective mitigation. 

We also want to know what happened to all the juvenile lampreys that were here? If the lampreys were translocated / salvaged and new habitats created for them then we want to see the data and evidence. There needs to be an investigation into the so called ‘Environmental Monitoring Committee’ who were supposedly overlooking this scheme. They clearly achieved nothing. 

There needs to be a move towards sustainable catchment based flood management schemes in Ireland. Where localised dredging and modifications are still required we need to then implement effective mitigation.

There needs to be an investigation into the so called ‘Environmental Monitoring Committee’ who were supposedly overlooking this scheme

We need an agency in Ireland that is willing to protect our rivers from destructive hard schemes like this and push for catchment based flood management and sustainable flood protection schemes.

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