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Culvert grate ‘too late’ for flooded Skibbereen businesses – Lombard

August 20th, 2020 2:36 PM

By Siobhan Cronin

The grate being installed at lunchtime today in Skibbereen. (Photo: Andy Gibson)

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A GRATE/ trash screen, which is being installed today at the culvert in Skibbereen, came too late for flooded businesses and homeowners, a local senator has said.

Fine Gael’s Sen Tim Lombard, who is visiting the area today, said the gate is being erected at the area known as ‘The Cutting’ off Bridge St, which saw water levels rise to almost 3ft at one point last night, during Storm Ellen.

‘The grate was ready to be installed and it is unacceptable that these emergency works are being carried out in such a reactive emergency way when the damage has been caused,’ Sen Lombard to The Southern Star.

‘There is a duty of care to homeowners and businesses in Skibbereen to have cleared culverts and drains. The reason this was not done, according to my face-to-face conversation with Cork County Council divisional manager and assistant county manager Clodagh Heneghan, was Covid. This is not acceptable as government directives at the beginning of lockdown were that vital infrastructure works such as water and power could continue. The protocol needs serious examining. With the Red alert, Council staff could not mobilise, yet private contractors were on site in Skibbereen last night. I am calling on the Minister for Local Government to carry out a full independent investigation which needs to be published.’

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