PATRICK O’Donovan, the junior minister responsible for the Office of Public Works (OPW), yesterday visited the Ballincollig Weir and the River Bride in Blackpool.
Mr O’Donovan met with OPW engineers and members of the local community at the site of the proposed flood relief scheme on the River Bride in Blackpool.
Speaking after his visit, Mr O’Donovan said he has concerns regarding the flooding issue in Cork and the hampering effect it could have on the development of the city.
The Blackpool flood relief scheme project, proposed in 2018, has been judged by a multidisciplinary team to best meet the criteria and objectives for Blackpool and to protect at-risk areas of Blackpool, including the areas that had experienced flooding in 2012.
The scheme is the subject of a legal challenge, but the OPW remains satisfied that the proposal, the result of a rigorous five-year process, represents the optimum solution for Blackpool.
The OPW has stated that nearly 300 properties and businesses stand to benefit from the scheme, including traders whose livelihoods are at stake, especially as many cannot get insurance due to previous flooding.
Following his visit to Blackpool village, Mr O’Donovan visited nearby Ballincollig to see the site of the collapsed weir on the River Lee adjacent to Ballincollig Regional Park.
He was met by the newly elected lord mayor for Cork City, Colm Kelleher. There have been calls for the OPW to assist, possibly as part of the lower Lee flood relief scheme.
The OPW has agreed to assess the feasibility of including any proposed works on the weir into the construction contract for the lower Lee flood relief scheme.