“ACTION has to be taken. We need to see shovels on the ground,” said Independent Councillor Danny Collins after funding approval for interim flood protection works in Bantry was approved.
The Minister of State with responsibility for the Office of Public Works, Mr. Patrick O’Donovan, T.D., has announced the approval of Cork County Council’s application under the Office of Public Works’ Minor Flood Mitigation Works and Coastal Protection Scheme.
Minister O’Donovan recently visited Bantry on December 14 to hear firsthand about the extent of the damage caused by flooding during Storm Barra.
Under the Minor Flood Mitigation Works and Coastal Protection Scheme, the Office of Public Works (OPW) has approved additional funding of €82,339 for interim works in Bantry pending the culvert works and the wider Bantry Flood Relief Scheme. The total funding approved for these works is €183,917.
Local councillor Danny Collins welcomed the news but stressed the work needs to be carried out as soon as possible.
“It is very welcome and good news but we want the main works to be carried out as soon as possible. Business owners and the local residents in Bantry have suffered for far too long. Flooding seems to be happening at least twice or three times a year, whereas previously it was only happening once every couple of years,” he said.
Councillor Collins said local residents and business owners in Bantry are ‘living in fear’ anytime there is a storm or incessant rainfall over a prolonged period.
“People are living in fear anytime there is a storm or heavy rain. When this is completed it will bring a sense of relief to the residents and the business owners. Action has to be taken. We need to see the shovels on the ground for the major works to happen.
"There have been lots of promises from TDs and Ministers in the years prior to this and nothing has happened. This has been going on for years. The pressure has to be kept on now to make sure they follow through and complete this vital project. I will keep the pressure on until we see the fruition of this project,” he added.
Cllr Collins paid tribute to Minister O’Donovan for his commitment to the local community in Bantry.
“Minister O’Donovan deserves praise. He has visited Bantry twice and he has committed to the project. He comes from an area which has suffered from flooding and he is well aware of the pressure people are under and face from flooding.”