LEGAL advice on plans to repair Fermoy’s 200-year-old weir should be delivered within the next two weeks allowing Cork County Council to devise a plan on how best to proceed.
The weir is breached in at least three places, meaning fish passes have been affected, leading to negative effects on salmon spawning and migration.
Problems with the weir date back more than a decade.
Fermoy municipal district chair and local councillor Frank O’Flynn (FF) said a meeting last week between Cork County Council and local sports clubs and fishermen was not attended by Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) because the council does not have a repair plan in place yet, or a means of funding.
“We are putting a plan and design in place,” said Mr O’Flynn.
“There is one plan that would cost between €2.5m and €2.6m. If we can repair and renovate the existing weir plus the existing fish pass, it would probably only cost €1.1m or €1.2m.
“We need planning approval from An Bord Pleanála and we also need funding. We intend meeting with the Minister of State at the Department of Rural and Community Development Seán Kyne when the plan is agreed and we know how much it will cost.
“I feel it is urgent that we would do this as soon as possible.
“Time is not on our side. This is going on for a number of years since the former town council is there,” he added.
Mr O’Flynn believes the cheaper plan would resolve the issues for local fishermen and the 12 local sports clubs that use the weir.
“The more expensive plan would involve acquiring land,” he said.
“It’s very important that we get a decision and a plan and we work to the plan. I would like to see the Minister in Fermoy to see it.
“It’s a pity it wasn’t done with the flood alleviation plan. It should have been done at that time.
“It was a missed opportunity. It would have probably been done at a much more economical price. It’s worse that it is going to get,” he added.