Chamber warning: Act now or risk more flooding in Cork 

Chamber warning: Act now or risk more flooding in Cork 
Morrison’s Island Public Realm and Flood Defence project.

FLOOD defences for the city must be progressed or city centre businesses could suffer another devastating flooding event, the president of Cork Chamber has warned.

A decision on the Morrison’s Island flood-defence scheme is expected next month, while the Office of Public Works’ €140m walls and demountable barrier plan continues to be the subject of intense debate.

Newly appointed Chamber head Paula Cogan said clarity is needed on the installation timeline.

“We’ve had our members impacted by flooding, it’s a very difficult situation,” she said. When the city flooded back in 2009, the whole streetscape was impacted.

“You had businesses on Washington Street and Western Road that were effectively out of business for three years. We don’t want that to happen again in our city.

“Cork City Council has provided us with some detail on the planning and landscaping detail around the project and everybody now needs clarity on how are going to proceed and the timing around that as well. It will only take another November night to impact hugely on the city."

She said a lack of clarity impacts on planning. 

"We have so many new companies coming into South Mall and they are investing heavily in those buildings and ensuring that they are putting the best of infrastructure," Ms Cogan said. "To have worry about flood defence is not what we want." 

Members of the project team working on the €140 million on the scheme presented new drawings in December of the proposed flood defences, following a redesign of the project on foot of public concerns about the construction of high river-side walls.

Under the revised plans, at no point in the city will the quay wall be taller than 1.2 meters and planned pumping stations will now be located below ground to minimise the impact on the public realm.

Sinn Féin’s Thomas Gould is hoping to receive the backing of fellow elected representatives in lobbying Office of Public Works Minister Kevin ‘Boxer’ Moran to commission an independent assessment of the scheme.

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