The timber became lodged in the River Glashaboy during the flood of Jun 28, but was only discovered last week in a remote, wooded valley just north of Glanmire, Co Cork.
Standing orders were suspended at a meeting of Cork County Council yesterday when Cllr Noel Costello (Lab) asked what was happening about the timber which was forming a dam in the river at Sarsfield’s Court, upstream of major population centres of Riverstown and Glanmire.
County engineer Noel O’Keeffe said he had successfully sought permission from Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI), Coillte, and the National Parks & Wildlife Service to remove the blockage.
Local authorities are not allowed to remove any debris from rivers without receiving such permission.
Normally IFI will not allow such work between the end of September and March because of the spawning season.
However, Mr O’Keeffe said he had spelled out the urgency of the situation in terms of health and safety.
He said he had walked the river in the Sarsfield’s Court area and found five blockages, the most serious being about 20m, 5m wide, and 2m high. Mr O’Keeffe said it was in an inaccessible area but he was contacting local landowners to inform them he hoped to start removing it within the next week.
He said he was also applying to the OPW to recoup money for the work.