Cork County Council Pay Out Hundreds of Thousands to Motorists for Car Damage Caused by Potholes

By Seamus Whelehan

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Potholes on Cork Roads are costing the County Council hundreds of thousands of Euro in compensation to vehicle owners.

Motorists from across the County have received almost €310,000 in compensation for vehicle damage since 2014, according to figures released by the Authority.

The report, made available to the East Cork Journal, shows that almost 2,000 claims against the Council for pothole or surface damaged roads have been made in the past 6 years.

Although not all claims received by the Local Authority were settled, Council Chiefs coughed up a staggering €307,870.83 since 2014, according to the data received.

The Authority was asked to break the figures down per Municipal District but said that they were unable to provide the level of detail which we required.

Up to 28 November this year, 1,708 motorists applied to have the damage caused by the County’s roads covered.

This year to date €35,269.04 was expended following claims from 282 motorists.

Last year was the worst year for pay-outs.  Of 736 claims received €107,229.65 was paid out.

In 2017 the Local Authority received 244 claims for recompense, and spent €40,563.56 of tax payer’s money in compensation.

In 2016, a total of 186 requests for reimbursement resulted in a payment of €43,924.10, while 2015 saw 126 drivers complain to the Local Authority netting motorists €26,773.67.

€54,110.81 was paid out in 2014 following 134 grievances from the drivers.

Cllr James O’Connor, a member of the Authority’s Roads and Transport Special Process Committee, said he is not surprised with the amount of insurance claims, given the “horrifying” state of the East Cork road network.

He said “The condition of road surfaces surrounding areas like Mount Uniacke and Killeagh is frightening to say the least.”

The Cork East election candidate for Fianna Fail said local engineers are doing their best, given staff shortages, but raised concern that the Authority’s velocity patchers were not being used to their fullest.

He said he will be raising the matter at the next Roads and Transport SPC as “East Cork residents expect, and deserve better.”

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