Brian Hayes TD, Minister of State with special responsibility for the Office of Public Works, will visit Foynes this Friday to see at first hand the extent of the damage caused by recent flooding in the town.

The matter was raised in the Dáil last week by Deputies Patrick O’Don-ovan and Dan Neville and the Minister agreed to the visit on Friday as part of a wider tour of the mid-west region when he is expected to interact with local groups on proposals to ensure that such circum-stances will not arise again in the future. Another high tide is due on February 1st and the people of Foynes are already fearful of a recurrence.

In Foynes on the night of the flood, 21/2 feet of water poured out on to the main street, causing considerable damage to businesses and homes and the evacuation of people. Locals and rep-resentatives of the local authority agreed that it was the worst flooding ever seen in the town. Many tributes have been paid to the Gardai, HSE, Limerick County Coun-cil and the local com-munity for their response on the occasion.

The Minister and Office of Public Works will be endeavouring to find a permanent solution to the problem with support of Shannon Foynes Port Company, Limerick County Council and Irish Rail which, along with the local commu-nity, are the interested parties.

While the worst damage occurred in Foynes, there was also flooding and damage in Askeaton and considerable tracts of land were flooded in Ballysteen.

It is hoped that the visit will be the catalyst for the drawing up of a plan to finally address the problem along the Shannon Estuary.