Sinn Féin councillor Tom Cunningham has described the scene in Aston Village and Termon Abbey on Monday as “dire” and has blamed a faulty valve on a pipe as the root cause of why preventative measures were ineffective against heavy rain and a high tide.
The Clogherhead-based councillor attended the scene on Monday morning where firefighters from Drogheda Fire Station and the Boyne Fishermen were on hand to assist. The firefighters used pumps to drain away water that had flooded the roads around the estates, including the area outside of the Aston Village Educate Together School.
“The Boyne Fishermen were there in case they had to ferry children to and from the school. It was like something you would see on the television,” Cllr Cunningham explained in a statement.
“I have spent the last few months ensuring that drains were kept clear and the river was cleared of debris. We had this flooding back in November and every step was taken to avoid a recurrence but unfortunately the scene that met me today was dire.
The councillor said that he felt a faulty valve on one particular pipe was the cause of what he described as “mayhem” in the Drogheda suburb on Monday morning. He said the pipe had a valve – there to control the speed of the flow of water that goes into the river – but understood it wasn’t working properly.
“I met with an engineer on site from Louth County Council to try and identify what the cause was as we felt that
every precaution had been taken believe that this valve is faulty or the blockage occurs around this area in some way and I have asked that this be investigated and fixed with immediate effect,” Cllr Cunningham added.
“I am also calling on the council to continue the works to keep all the drains and the river clear from debris. We need the issue resolved once and for all. We can not be in a position where children are unable to get to and from school safely and residents unable to leave their homes to go to work or just about their daily business.”
On Monday, Labour councillor Michelle Hall called the basin outside of the school a “drowning hazard.”
“This is the only road into Aston Village houses, school, crèches and shops. I have been highlighting the potential drowning hazard of this basin since I got elected. I have requested that the Council erect a fence until the water subsided fully, which I know from working in the school, can take several days to drain away.”