The people of Kilkenny want to see action to solve the problem of flooding in the city.

Several times every year whole sections of the city of Kilkenny around the Black Mill and Irishtown area go under a few feet of water.

The floods are caused by the overflowing of the Brega River which turns from a timid stream to a torrent. The water flows over the river bank and through the town.

Water from a 25 square mile catchment area drains into it and when the level rises, it becomes too much for the bridges which span the river.

To add to this, the River Nore also runs through Kilkenny which has also flooded in recent times leaving behind destruction and thousands of pounds in damage. The Nore swamped the town in 1947, 1958 and again in late 1968. 

The responsibility falls to Kilkenny Corporation to do something about the Brega. The River Nore, on the other hand, is the responsibility of the Board of Works, who are to begin a drainage survey over the coming months and may take years to complete. The people of Kilkenny have no run out of patience. 

In the last flood, water lapped around their upstairs windows and the pews floated around the historic Black Abbey.

Father Mark Healy, who has witnessed the flooding of the Abbey five times in the last three years, is now looking for action. He believes that the building which has stood for over 700 years is now under threat. The Abbey also contains objects of value which are in constant danger including the oldest printed book in the British Isles. Fr Helay is not encouraged by the corporation's previous efforts to resolve the problem. 

The people of Kilkenny have called a public meeting and formed an association to make sure that the corporation carries out its plans for the River Brega. One of the association members, Mr Denis Gorey, is critical of the corporation's efforts to solve the problem and outlines actions that need to be taken immediately.

People in this area have been flooded two and three times a year for the last twenty years.

The corporation says that it has faced legal obstacles to starting the works because of some people's water rights. Lord Mayor John Holohan defends the corporation and claims that as soon as the legal problems were resolved a few months ago, the drainage plan was immediately put through for sanctioning. 

A 'Newsbeat' report broadcast on 28 January 1969. The reporter is Michael Ryan.