Flood relief scheme stalled despite initial €100k spend

A flood relief project screw-up has led to €100,000 being spent on a preliminary cost/benefit analysis to discover a proposed scheme, at a further €200,000, would not be value for money.

Flood relief scheme stalled despite initial €100k spend

The Office of Public Works had put aside a total of €300,000 to ease flood relief in the mid-Cork village of Crookstown.

The village is just off the main N22 Cork-Killarney road and a gateway to parts of West Cork, especially Bantry and Beara.

Villagers are furious as homes, a pub and local shop are flooded regularly along with the roads which connect to the main routes.

County councillors also expressed shock after discovering one third of the allocation was spent on the cost/benefit analysis.

The refusal of the OPW to undertake the scheme was raised at a full meeting of Cork County Council.

Cllr Bob Ryan, chairman of the Macroom municipal district, urged the local authority to step in and progress the project.

“There’s still €200,000 left in the kitty and we should be undertaking this work on behalf of the people of the village,” he said.

Cllr Gobnait Moynihan asked how did the OPW intended to explain to the people of Crookstown why they didn’t matter.

She said the road running through the village was one of the main access routes into West Cork and, for economic reasons, it cannot be closed off by flooding.

“The cost/benefit analysis was based on monetary terms,” noted Cllr Des O’Grady. “The human element is being overlooked completely. Householders and businesses are being overlooked.

“There were also many people who, while not flooded, were trapped in their homes could not, along with motorists, could not get in or out of the area.”

Cllr Michael Creed said Crookstown is constantly flooded.

“People can’t get insurance cover because of previous flooding. They have suffered enough. I would seriously ask the council to provide the money.

“The (council) area engineer for Macroom is living in Crookstown and he knows better than anyone the situation.”

Cllr Mary Hegarty said that she has also witnessed flooding in the village.

On one occasion, the Bantry-based councillor said due to flooding, she was unable to attend a council meeting in County Hall.

“Many of the large trucks which serve the fishing industry in West Cork come through Crookstown,” she added.

Council chief executive Tim Lucey said that while the OPW was responsible for the Crookstown scheme, he would consider some council resources could be made available to fund the project.

“We’re looking to see if we can fund it through the minor works scheme,” he said. “It’s a work in progress at this stage and we’ll brief the municipal district when completed.”

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