A multi-million euro fund is to be made available for a series of emergency measures over the next nine months to reduce the risk from flooding for 250 homes in Athlone.

Minister of State with responsibility for the Office of Public Works Sean Canney said the €6m project will proceed ahead of an ongoing study by the CFRAM (Catchment Flood Risk Assessment and Management).

This is because of concerns over a threat to the area if last year's floods were to reoccur.

The areas affected are in the centre of Athlone at the Strand, Griffith Park and surrounding areas.

Measures are to include new defence walls, a pilot scheme on Lough Allen and the flooding of Bord na Móna bog land to alleviate the flood risk.

Works are anticipated to begin in the middle of next year.

Mr Canney was to meet Westmeath Co Council officials this morning to outline the plan.

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