Fears broken Ballincollig weir will result in injury

Fears broken Ballincollig weir will result in injury

Councillor Derry Canty shows a section of the collapsed weir at Ballincollig Regional Park. Pic: Larry Cummins

THE broken weir at Ballincollig Regional Park needs to be repaired before somebody is fatally or seriously injured, according to local councillors.

Concerns have been raised that damage to the weir, sustained three years ago, has led to members of the public walking out onto it and using it for recreational purposes.

The weir was built in the 1790s to divert water from the River Lee to the canals at the Gunpowder Mills.

However, it collapsed in December 2014, causing the canals to dry up as water was not building up behind it.

Cllr Derry Canty said there had been confusion about whether the Office of Public Works or the Government owned the weir, but it’s now understood to be in the ownership of Cork County Council.

He has called for it to be repaired as soon as possible and for the Council to approach Government departments for the funding required.

“The weir is in a dangerous position, do they want it to collapse? We’re highlighting it as a regional park to tourists but then you see the condition the weir is in,” he said.

Mr Canty said both children and adults are walking out and even cycling on the weir, causing serious health and safety issues.

He said he felt the attitude was to let the issue go until Ballincollig moves into the city under the planned 2010 city boundary extension.

“If there’s an accident, all hell will break loose,” he added.

While signage exists in the area to advise people not to swim, no new signage has been erected to highlight the safety issues since the weir collapsed.

Cllr Daithi Ó Donnabháin said it would be “remiss” of the Government not to provide funding to fix the river barrier.

The Council’s municipal district officer Kevin O’Regan said structural engineers have costed repairing the weir at between €400,000 to €500,000. Responding to suggestions that the OPW could be approached to provide funding, he said they had already indicated they were not in a position to do so, as the site is not under their ownership.

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