Campaigners concerned Cork flood relief works 'may increase flood risk' in the city

Past floods in Cork city.

Proposals by the Office of Public Works to tackle flooding in Cork are in danger of turning the city centre into a giant storm drain, according to campaigners.

The Save Cork City group has warned that while new relief measures are vital for Cork and other flood risk areas, the OPW's approach of building walls and blocking access to waterways will cause massive disruption to businesses and tourism.

The proposed works, which are already being tendered despite the fact that a public consultation is ongoing, will cost €120m, and will take up to ten years to complete.

Hundreds of people will form a human chain on the quays in Cork this Saturday, to highlight their fears and call for a full design review of the project.

Local architect Polly Magee says the plan could heighten the flood risk by channeling waters towards Cork.

She said: "The initial part of the proposal will involve building embankments to the west of the city and this will have the effect of reducing the flood plain area and channelling any floodwaters faster and further along towards the city.

"As this is the first phase of the workks, we're concerned that it may actually increase the flood risk in the city in the process."

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