Taoiseach's failure to visit flood-damaged Donegal park criticised

A new temporary bridge was installed at Swan Park yesterday, Friday after paths were washed away in the August floods last year. Picture by Margaret McLaughlin
Seamus McKinney

TAOISEACH Leo Varadkar has been criticised for failing to include a visit to a flood-damaged tourist attraction in Donegal during a visit to the region next week.

Mr Varadkar is due to meet a number of groups when he visits the area on Tuesday, including a group representing families whose homes are crumbling because of defective building materials.

It is believed up to 5,000 homes in Donegal, built with defective blocks containing defective levels of the material mica, are at risk of crumbling.

The Mica Action Group has been campaigning for a redress scheme on behalf of the homeowners. Donegal TD and government chief whip, Joe McHugh confirmed yesterday Mr Varadakar would meet the group.

The Fine Gael TD said the meeting was an indication of the Irish government's commitment to listen to people, to act on their concerns and to improve their lives.

However, the taoiseach's failure to include a visit to flood-damaged Swan Park during his visit has been criticised.

Developed around the Crana River in Buncrana, Swan Park draws huge numbers of tourists annually.

Parts of the park were swept away during torrential rain on August 22 last year.

The floods which swept through Inishowen and Co Derry caused millions of pounds worth of damage.

While much of the damage has been repaired, Swan Park has still been unable to re-open.

However, a new structure was placed over the main flood-damaged bridge at the tourist attraction yesterday.

Sinead NÍ Bhroin, chairwoman of Buncrana's tidy towns committee, criticised the taoiseach for failing to include the tourist attraction on his itinerary describing it as a "missed opportunity" to see how important Swan Park is as a tourist attraction.

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