Save Cork City says council boss is responsible for delay in flood defences 

Save Cork City says council boss is responsible for delay in flood defences 

The proposed Trinity Bridge outside the College of Commerce as part of the Morrison's Island plans.

The campaign group Save Cork City has hit back at Cork City Council boss Ann Doherty and blamed her for delays in the delivery of flood defences.

Save Cork City, which is opposed to the OPW’s €150m Cork City flood defence plan, and which has mounted two legal challenges to city council public realm projects which both feature flood defences, said it is time for a rethink.

Save Cork City spokesman, John Hegarty, said: “By refusing to discuss a change of approach or seek the independent advice that city councillors have repeatedly called for, our chief executive is personally responsible for delaying the protection of Cork from floodwater and has additionally stagnated our more recent potential to thrive as a city by constantly pursuing the wrong development approach for Cork.”

The war of words comes as work continues to finalise the OPW’s Lower Lee Flood Relief Scheme plans which is the single largest investment in flood defences in the history of the state.

Save Cork City has sought a judicial review of Bórd Pleanála’s approval of the council’s Morrison’s Island public realm scheme, which will feature flood defences along flood-prone quays, and it has mounted a legal challenge to the council’s south docklands road upgrade, which also has some flood defences.

Writing in yesterday’s Irish Examiner, Ms Doherty accused Save Cork City of objecting to anything they don’t agree with, regardless of the common good.

However, Mr Hegarty said the time has come for a rethink on the OPW scheme.

“The potential of the historic city and our dockland opportunity should be considered together. Successful cities care for their historic centres and that care provides the conditions to attract investment and create new development opportunities in that order,” he said.

“The issue of whether we create flood defences in the centre of Cork or outside the city is crucial to our future success.

“Look to Bandon or Skibbereen and multiply these projects by 10 times for Cork. Add in a much-overlooked groundwater issue and almost a kilometre of demountable barriers and it is our considered belief, backed by thousands of supporters and extensive research, that Cork would never recover physically or socially from the OPW scheme.”

Save Cork City has repeatedly described the Lower Lee Flood Relief Scheme a "walls scheme", and says that a tidal barrier at Little Island is the only way to protect Cork from flooding.

The OPW says that after 13-years of research, the Lower Lee Flood Relief Scheme is the only viable solution and that its design has been amended to take public concerns into account.

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