Cork County Council will undertake public consultation on the options to be considered for the Fermoy Weir and fish pass.
The people of Fermoy have been calling for repairs to be made on the historic weir for years, with accelerated deterioration in recent years. In January 2019, part of the weir collapsed, causing concern among locals, shortly before Cork County Council issued tenders to find contractors to develop and design a solution for the area.
The Council have now undertaken a public consultation on the options and measures will are to be considered for the early 19th Century weir, including two options for the remediation of the weir and nine options for the fish passage.
The non-statutory public consultation on the Fermoy Weir Remediation and Fish Bypass will take place for a period of four weeks from tomorrow.
Speaking on the announcement, Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr Mary Lenihan Foley noted the importance of the weir.
“The weir is a centrepiece for the river, the community, the scenery and the biodiversity of Fermoy. The decisions made now build upon works that began 200 years ago and will have long-lasting impacts into the future," she said.
"It is vital that the people of Fermoy have their say in a development that will have a meaningful and enduring impact on their town."
Chief Executive of Cork County Council, Tim Lucey said that Cork County Council is committed to working with communities on the issue.
"This Public Participation process will ensure that the community has the opportunity to contribute to this significant remediation and conservation project.”
The recent accelerated deterioration of the weir has stopped water sports in the Fermoy area in addition to preventing the passage of fish.
Paul Kavanagh from the Fermoy Rowing Club, a member of 20 clubs that make up Save Fermoy Weir, welcomed the next stage of the process after years of urging for the historic weir to be repaired.
“We’re delighted at long last our County Council are agreeing to repair the weir,” he said.
However, the group are hoping for a style fish pass similar to the Chester Weir, which they say is a “quick, efficient and cost-effective approach".
This style of a fish pass can be seen on the River Dee in Cheshire but it is not one of the options currently being considered.
Tommy Lawton from the Fermoy Game Fishing Association and the Fermoy Coarse Anglers Association said that the Chester Weir would be a good option for anglers.
“We think that type of fish pass would suit Fermoy more than what’s being proposed. We’re putting option ten the table not just for the anglers, but for all of the amenity users in Fermoy."
“We’re not finished. We’re going to be making submissions every week, we’re encouraging the public to get involved. This is our chance, the job is now going to be done and what we’re saying here is let the public have their say," added Paul Kavanagh.