Four community organisations in east Cork have joined to form a new action group in response to public damage and flood risks.
Representatives from the Castlemartyr, Mogeely, Ladysbridge and Ballymacoda community councils have established the Womagh, Kiltha and District Community Response Group, at a meeting at Castlemartyr Resort complex. Killeagh Community Council has also been invited to join.
The action was prompted by frustration with the lack of an official emergency plan during the flood crisis, which decimated homes and roads in the Castlemartyr area.
The new group is “a community-led relief, assistance and recovery response to natural events and other emergencies”.
Its spokeswoman, Michelle O’Donovan, of Castlemartyr Community Council, said the meeting agreed a three-pronged approach.
Members will conduct an assessment of the needs of those whose homes were flooded, with a Facebook page inviting donations of material and skills to meet specific requirements.
It will correspond with Cork county councillors, officials, engineers, TDs, and “all relevant bodies”. It will assess the short- and long-term plans to address flood risk and the possible responses, including traffic management.
While praising the reaction of roads engineer, Dave Clarke, those at the meeting were critical of the county council’s general response as the crisis hit.
The group is also planning to set up a flooding rapid-response team.
“We hope to acquire a large container to fill with materials, such as sandbags, oilskins, wellies, torches, signage, shovels, batteries, hi-viz jackets and so on,” said Ms O’Donovan.
A list of volunteer JCB owner/drivers, farmers with tractors and slurry tanks and residents generally available to respond is being compiled.
www.castlemartyrcommunity.muinir.ie; Facebook: Castlemartyr Community-Council; 087-9242921
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