O’Dowd visits sluice gates at Toomebridge

Date published: 30 September 2022

Infrastructure Minister John O’Dowd has visited the sluice gates that manage water levels on Lough Neagh.

Pictured with Minister O’Dowd, left to right, Mike O’Gorman DfI and Gary Quinn DfI.

The sluice gates, which are managed by the Department, are located on the Lower Bann at Portna, Coleraine and at Toomebridge, where the Minister visited. They are used to create a navigable depth of 1.5 metres within the river which enables boats to travel throughout its 60 kilometres length from Portstewart to Toomebridge. 

The Department monitors the water levels of Lough Neagh on a daily basis and, taking into consideration the weather forecasts, makes adjustments to the gate openings as necessary to maintain water levels in the Lough and Lower Bann River within the prescribed limits to minimise flood risk in the surrounding areas. 

The Minister said:

“These flood gates are a vital infrastructure asset which deliver real benefits for the community. Not only do they help mitigate the flood risk to businesses and homes but they are also important for tourism, nature conservation, water supply, farming and for those using Lough Neagh for fishing or boating.

“I wanted to see these in operation first hand to get an understanding of how they work and meet the staff who undertake this important work every day.”

Up to date information on water levels and gate openings can be accessed at: Lough Neagh levels

Notes to editors: 

  1. All media queries should be directed to the Department for Infrastructure Press Office at: press.office@infrastructure-ni.gov.uk.
  2. The Executive Information Service operates an out of hours service for media enquiries between 1800hrs and 0800hrs Monday to Friday and at weekends and public holidays. The duty press officer can be contacted on 028 9037 8110.
  3. Follow the Department on Twitter @deptinfra and on Facebook @DepartmentforInfrastructure.

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