FURTHER delays are now expected on a flood relief scheme intended to protect hundreds of homes and businesses in Glanmire.
Assurances had been given that the €8.5m scheme was to start in the summer but the project documentation has yet to be signed off by Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe.
Last week, the area was on high flooding alert due to heavy downpours. Approximately 60 homes and a number of businesses were badly damaged in Glanmire in June 2012, when the river burst its banks, following torrential rainfall. But it has emerged the Minister has ordered another environmental assessment.
Responding to a request from TD Sean Sherlock in relation to progress on the scheme, Minister of State for the Office of Public Works Keven ‘Boxer’ Moran said: “All environmental assessments associated with the development of the proposed scheme have been prepared, and these accompanied the submission to the Minister for formal confirmation, including an Environmental Impact Assessment Report.
“The Minister will undertake an environmental assessment of the proposed scheme in line with the required legislative requirements, and this will involve public consultation.”
Councillor John Maher said the latest delay was unforeseen and is down to bureaucracy.
“What is clear to see now is that the last obstacle in any sort of progress in the Glanmire Flood Relief Scheme is the Minister himself. We were lucky last week that more damage wasn’t caused by the rainfall. How much longer can Government representatives stand idly by when one of their party’s leaders sits back and faffs about instead of taking actions that will protect residents and businesses in the Glanmire area?
“The Minister has had enough chances to progress this scheme and people want action not delays because of bureaucrats in Dublin simply not caring. We can tackle flooding when it happens but real leadership is working to make sure flood defences are installed along with insurance reforms to assist those still reeling from previous floods. People deserve better.”