Councillors call for action on weir in Fermoy

Councillors call for action on weir in Fermoy
The fish ladder at the weir on the River Blackwater in Fermoy. Picture: Denis Minihane.

The recent cancellations of the Fermoy Regatta and the Blackwater Swim, due to the partial collapse of the Fermoy Weir, will have a serious impact on local businesses.

That is the view of Fianna Fáil councillor Frank O’Flynn, who wanted the Council to write to Tánaiste Simon Coveney to see if he could help.

“Restaurants, B&Bs, shops, they all get a lot of business from these events, they are missing out,” Mr O’Flynn said in a Council meeting yesterday.

Cork County Council has requested Government funding to cover half of the cost of work to the weir, with the Council to provide the other half. Mr O’Flynn said there had been no response from the Government in relation to the required funding.

He added that a quarter of the Weir has completely washed away and work on the river was needed to prevent further damage.

Fine Gael councillor Noel McCarthy said the loss of revenue to the town from the cancellation of the regatta and swim was huge, and said that the broken weir was taking from the beauty of the town and was “upsetting” for tourists and locals. Mr McCarthy said he blamed Inland Fisheries for the delays, saying they were the ones calling the shots.

“Common sense has not prevailed here,” Mr McCarthy said.

Fianna Fáil councillor Deirdre O’Brien said no one was taking responsibility for the issue: “What are we supposed to do, write to every Department? The buck is just being passed around.”

Cork County Council chief executive Tim Lucey said the Council had corresponded with the Minister. 

He said two tenders had been assessed for the work, but they could not progress without the funding and added that he welcomed the members taking it up as a political matter.

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