Taoiseach urges mediation to remove ‘roadblocks’ on flood defence project

Taoiseach urges mediation to remove ‘roadblocks’ on flood defence project

Heavy flooding on Oliver Plunkett street earlier this week. 

THE Taoiseach Micheál Martin has called for mediation in a bid to remove "roadblocks" to the development of the Morrison’s Island Public Realm and Flood Defence Project.

Speaking at Cork Chamber's Business Breakfast yesterday, Mr Martin referred to the judicial review lodged by campaign group Save Cork City group.

He asked that, following Tuesday's flooding, those objecting to the project might "reflect" on their stance, The Irish Examiner reports.

"Critically it is the flood relief scheme that has to happen. 

"I would hope that the issues around the judicial review and those involved may reflect on this and some mediation could take place to effect the removal of the roadblocks to the development of that flood relief scheme," he said.

In a statement issued by Save Cork City, the group signalled that they are open to mediation. 

"The Taoiseach has called for mediation on the issue. 

"He cares deeply for Cork, as we do and we believe he wants the right kind of protection for people and wants to listen to people and not to harm them, their environment, their investments or their well-being. 

"The first thing we would like to discuss with the Taoiseach is how to get temporary flood protection in place now as Cork city has not done with any success," they stated.

"We have asked for safer flood protection for Cork, that will work, won’t damage the local economy or harm people’s businesses, their investments or their well-being and there are many compromises that could be reached in mediation within those ambitions. 

"We have also asked for faster protection for more of the city including Docklands which we believe is economically achievable," they continued.

Save Cork City claim they have received "no fair answers to a basic list of concerns" from the Office of Public Works (OPW) on flood defences.

The group said at this time they cannot comment on any legal action.

Speaking to The Echo, Former Cork Business Association chairman and English Market fishmonger Pat O'Connell, spoke in favour of the Morrison's Island Project.

Mr O'Connell said if mediation does take place it needs to take place swiftly and cannot be "just for the optics".

"It has to be serious. Both sides need to be committed to a resolution because this has to be solved."

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