Glanmire residents face 20-week wait for ministerial approval for €8.5m flood relief plan

Anxious householders and businesses in a Cork satellite town will have to wait until the year-end before finding out if Minister for Finance and Public Expenditure, Paschal Donohoe, will approve an €8.5m spend on a flood prevention scheme.

Anxious householders and businesses in a Cork satellite town will have to wait until the year-end before finding out if Minister for Finance and Public Expenditure, Paschal Donohoe, will approve an €8.5m spend on a flood prevention scheme.

More than 60 homes and dozens of businesses were badly damaged in Glanmire in June 2012 when the River Glashaboy burst its banks following torrential rainfall. The majority cannot now secure flood insurance cover.

There have been two very close calls since along the Glashaboy and one of its tributaries burst its banks

Some houses at Copper Valley View were flooded two years ago, amid continued ‘close calls’ after tributaries of the Glashaboy burst their banks.

Cork County Council has, meanwhile, been acting for the OPW in drawing up a flood prevention scheme which will primarily protect properties in Sallybrook, Riverstown and Glanmire village.

The council’s finalised plans to the OPW are expected to be passed on to Mr Donohoe’s department for approval, which normally takes around 20 weeks.

Project manager with the council, Colm Brennan said that while the local authority awaits the minister’s decision his team would be finalising the detailed design and have it ready for tender if approval was forthcoming.

The flood relief works will include a series of earth embankments along with new culverts and pumping stations.

Mr Brennan said it was envisaged a contractor could be appointed swiftly in the event of department approval.

“We would be hoping work should start in the first quarter of 2019 and it would take approximately 18-24 months to complete,” Mr Brennan said.

The proposed works, he said, would be carried out on a phased basis and will be undertaken in such a way that some defences will not be provided, until the near-completion of the scheme, to ensure access is available for water run-offs to reduce damage to houses or businesses.

Mr Brennan said that the council will provide a leaflet drop in the area in the weeks ahead on the progress to date. The local authority has already carried out a number of preliminary works, cleaning debris from the river near the eyes of bridges, and felling some riverside trees. Drains were also cleaned regularly.

Meanwhile, in a separate matter, Deputy Aindrias Moynihan has pointed to a lack of urgency by the OPW on proposed flood relief works on the Upper Lee at Inchigeelagh.

After meeting with OPW Minister Kevin Boxer Moran, the Cork North West TD said: “Last month, the local communities in Inchigeelagh and Ballingeary were disappointed to find out that this project would not be part of the first tranche of flood relief works under the Catchment Flood Risk Assessment and Management (CFRAM) programme.

“It’s a €2.56m project but its value to homeowners, farmers and local businesses would be many multiples of that. Flood walls and embankments will protect 28 properties when completed.”

He said the minister’s responses were very disappointing, and will not provide comfort to local residents.

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