Midleton Men’s Shed Offers Free Floodgates to Protect Flood Prone Properties

By Seamus Whelehan

Niall Coffey (Chairman of Midleton Mens Shed) with Donal Dennehy (Treasurer) and Bill O'Leary (Secretary).

Midleton Men’s Shed is taking steps to protect some of the town’s most flood prone properties.  In the absence of a Flood Relief Scheme for the area, the group is providing ten homes with a set of flood gates worth almost €1,500   The barriers are quick to install and do not require tools to deploy.   Once placed in a doorway, you ratchet open the gate over the doorway area and inflate the seal.

The flood barriers are being offered free of charge to vulnerable, low income families, while the town continues to wait for its promised Flood Relief Scheme as parts of the town which were devastated by the last major flood event in 2016, remain at risk.

The Office of Public Works, OPW, say almost 250 homes and businesses were affected by the flood of January 2016, and that they continue to be at risk of future flood events.   The threat has led the Government to pledged €20million towards flood management and defences in the market town.

Niall Coffey, Chairman of the newly formed Midleton Men’s Shed said that a panel of individuals, including the Community Guard, will decide on the ten neediest applicants.  He said the focus of the Group was providing the gates to “the elderly and low income families most at risk of flood.”

Midleton was the worst affected area in East Cork during the 2016 flood event, with the Army called in overnight on Tuesday 29 December, to help with the evacuation of fourteen families living on Dwyer’s road.   The Mill Road area was also badly affected, with some areas of the market town under almost three feet of water.   Close to forty premises were affected by the floods on Main Street.  An additional 100 residents in Banog Estate off Dwyer’s Road were affected for the second time in as many days.    The residents, who are no strangers to flooding, were trapped in their houses as the only entrance to the estate was flooded.   Details for the Midleton Flood Relief Scheme were announced last year but, construction is not expected to begin until at least 2021, due to the complex nature of the scheme.

The project is examining both tidal and fluvial flooding, ground water and surface water.   This is the first time that all four types of flood risk will be examined in one scheme.   The OPW say they should have a number of options available to consider by March 2019.
The Programme of Works is then expected to progress to detailed design stage, tender and construction by 2021.  It’s believed the final draft plan could include permanent floodwalls and/ or embankments to manage both tidal and fluvial flood risk.

To apply for a Dam Easy flood gate please contact Bill O’Leary, Midleton Men’s Shed c/o Edmund Rice Centre, Rosary Place, Midleton.