Council chief hits out at group opposing flood relief scheme in Cork

Ann Doherty accused Save Cork City of only wanting what it wants, and of objecting to anything they don’t agree with, regardless of the common good.
Council chief hits out at group opposing flood relief scheme in Cork

Ann Doherty said Cork can not depend on luck to avoid disastrous floods such as this one in February 2014. Picture: Denis Scannell

The chief executive of Cork City Council has launched a blistering attack on the campaign group leading opposition to the city’s proposed €150m flood defence scheme, and warned the city will continue to flood until effective defences are in place.

Ann Doherty accused Save Cork City (SCC), which has also mounted legal challenges against two major city centre public realm schemes which both include flood defence measures, of only wanting what it wants, and of objecting to anything they don’t agree with, regardless of the common good.

Writing in today’s Irish Examiner, Ms Doherty says the city dodged another potentially devastating flood event last week — which was forecast to be on par with the huge flood in February 2014 — thanks only to a last-minute change of wind direction.

But, she says, the city can’t depend on such luck.

It [SCC] will object to anything that does not meet its preferences. It will delay and litigate against all such projects, regardless of public consultation, Bord Pleanála decisions, international peer review, the common good — it doesn’t matter.

SCC is opposed to the OPW’s Lower Lee flood relief scheme (LLFRS) — the largest single investment in flood defences in the history of the State, branding it a ‘walls scheme’ and insisting a tidal barrier is required.

The OPW has rejected the ‘walls scheme’ label, saying the LLFRS is a blend of measures, with its revised designs proving it has taken on board public concerns. 

SCC has mounted legal challenges against the city council’s Morrison’s Island public realm scheme, which features flood defences on the city's most flood-prone quays, and the council’s south docklands road improvement scheme, which also features an element of flood defences.

“I see little point in purporting to ‘Love the Lee’ and allowing its waters to lap around the ankles of those who are trying to make a living," Ms Doherty said.

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