Councillor Frustrated at OPW Snail Pace in Protecting Flood Risk Homes

By Seamus Whelehan

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Residents in Castlemartyr and Youghal who were hit by floods, despair over the OPW’s snail pace in responding to their needs, Cork County Council Executive was told in recent days.

18 months on and residents in the Castlemartyr Mogeely road and Ladysbridge junction, along with a number of people living in Quarry Road Youghal, are no clearer to knowing whether or not  minor flood works to protect their property will be funded.

Up to 15 homes in the areas are facing into another winter without a commitment from the Office of Public Works to fund a minor Flood Relief Scheme.

In July 2018, the Local Authority submitted to the OPW for the carrying out of cleaning works upstream and downstream of Castlemartyr Bridge, to protect 4 houses at risk of flooding.

The Authority Flood Projects team, at the same time, applied to extend the existing culvert on Quarry Road Youghal and construct a new inlet structure to protect 9 homes in the area.

On the Ladysbridge Road they applied to increase the size of an under capacity culvert and construct a new inlet.

Independent Cllr Mary Linehan Foley told the November Sitting of the Southern Committee that “these residents are heading into the season of flooding and are virtually very, very nervous.”

She said Council must do its best to speed up the work of the OPW.

Cllr James O’Connor, Fianna Fail, backing his colleague, said “from the perspective of the OPW it’s a bit like administrative stupidity that they don’t recognise that this needs to be done, and followed up. It’s of huge concern for the residents.”

Kevin Costello, Senior Manager at Water Services, Coastal Management and Flood Projects, said the establishment of a Steering Committee involving Cork County Council and OPW staff should help speed things up.

He said the first meeting is set to take place in the New Year, when he hopes to see some progress.

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