FIANNA Fáil leader and Cork South Central TD Micheál Martin has said the Office of Public Works (OPW) needs to consider a tidal barrier to prevent future flooding in Cork.
He recently facilitated a meeting between local activists on the Cork City flood plan and OPW Minister Kevin 'Boxer' Moran, and said that he wants to see "ongoing engagement" on the proposal.
The current plan would see flood walls and other defences built around the city, but Mr Martin said that real consideration needs to be given to a longer-term solution within the harbour.
"The whole programme of building walls has limitations, and it's going to take ten years to do all that. Ultimately, I think the barrier should be professionally and seriously examined, because, long term, if we accept climate change, and I do, and the realities of climate change, there are implications on the city," he said.
Mr Martin said that the limitations of the current plan would hold back the docklands area from reaching its full potential.
"There are implications on the docklands. Can we really redevelop the docklands without proper plans in relation to the tidal flows and to flooding? I don't think we can. Or are we saying we're going to build walls the whole way down," he said.
"I think we really need to examine this, and I haven't heard engineering or technical opposition to the barrier. People are saying there are cost issues and so on, but we haven't heard, in my view, satisfactory technical or engineering reasons."