CONSTRUCTION work on flood defences that was due to start this year now looks further away than ever as an EU law change has delayed the project yet again.
Councillors in the area now fear that it may be at least another two years before works get underway on the €8.5 million Glashaboy Flood Relief Scheme.
Hundreds of homes and businesses in Glanmire are under constant threat of flooding during the winter months but a change in the EU Environmental Impact Assessment Directive means Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe has yet to rubber-stamp approval for the scheme.
City Hall director of operations Valerie O’Sullivan outlined the reasons for further delays to local councillors this week.
“In August 2018, the Office of Public Works submitted the proposals for the Glashaboy scheme to the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform for formal Confirmation,” Ms O’Sullivan said.
“[The Department] is currently undertaking the process of an environmental assessment of the proposed scheme, in line with legislative requirements which was only recently transposed into law...The delay in transposition into law has been the reason for the delay in the confirmation process progressing. This assessment must be completed before the Minister can grant consent.
“The appointment of a contractor for this scheme will be progressed following formal ministerial confirmation,” Ms O’Sullivan added.
Councillor Ger Keohane (IND) has dismissed the responses from the council and said the Department has no interest in progressing the scheme.
"The response issued to me from the department this week showed a complete lack of interest in furthering the work on the flood relief scheme. The way things are looking it could be another couple of years before anything is done," he added.
John Maher (LAB) has described the delay as “bureaucratic nonsense”.
"It is almost like there is a collaboration of answers coming from the Department and coming from the city council. One would think that Minister Donohoe has enough information to give this the green light but bureaucratic nonsense and delay is compounding any progress.
"What Glanmire needs desperately is action on this for too long have officials at every level of the State wrung their hands and requested more reports. All the while Glanmire stands defenceless in an age where 100 year floods are likely to happen nearly every six months," Mr Maher added.