The Enniscorthy Flood Relief Scheme has been refused permission to go ahead by the government.
The Minister for Public Expenditure Michael McGrath has rejected the proposal based on a detailed assessment of the environmental impact of the scheme.
In a statement from the Minister this evening, he says the decision was taken based on an extensive procedure which involved the engagement of environmental consultants, public consultation and engagement with other relevant bodies.
There had been concerns that legal challenges could be taken against the scheme due to the environmental impact.
Speaking exclusively to South East Radio, former Junior Minister and Enniscorthy TD Paul Kehoe outlines one area where the scheme was rejected by Minister McGrath.
“One of the issues is the pearl mussel. It has intensified that there would be a temporary loss of habitat suitable for qualified for interest floating river vegetation.
“I think we have to go beyond the environmental issues because this has now huge effects for the businesses of Enniscorthy and the town as a whole as well.”
In a tweet this evening, fellow Enniscorthy TD James Browne stated that “the scheme goes back to the OPW and Wex Co Co for amendment in order to meet the environmental criteria.
“Once OPW and Wex Co Co can demonstrate the necessary amendments are made. Scheme can be resubmitted. Funding remains in place.”
Local councillor Jackser Owens says the Minister must explain in detail why the people of Enniscorthy have been abandoned by this decision.
“This is an insult. The people have been waiting for this, the people who have been flooded for years on the Island Road. The people on the Quay, Templeshannon and the people down the Riverside.
“It is a disgrace and the Minister should come on and explain to the people why it was turned down.”