Dredging no help to floods

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Dredging would not have helped Lough Neagh floods

David Porter told the agriculture committee that the problem was the levels of the lough and that the volume of water flowing into it is five times that which can flow out.

Nine rivers flow into Lough Neagh. Only one, the lower River Bann, flows out.

Last week, businesses on the shores of Lough Neagh were damaged by floods.

Mr Porter added that he did not want to give people “undue hope” that a promised review of the response to the flooding, which will include the lough levels, would lead to a significant change.

Farmers had claimed that a build up of silt in the lough, along with the rivers flowing into it, had contributed to the problem.

Mr Porter said that was not the case.

He said that any change to the lough levels would have to balance the competing interests of those who use the lough, including boating businesses.

He told MLAs that lowering the level of the lough would make access to jetties and quays difficult.