THE Minister of State at the Office of Public Works with responsibility for flood relief, Patrick O’Donovan, TD, visited West Cork on Tuesday to meet with those affected by the recent floods and with Council officials in order to discuss plans for these areas.
Speaking in Dunmanway, Minister O’Donovan stated, ‘It is only when you see the damage first hand that you can fully appreciate the devastation the recent severe weather has brought to communities in Connonagh, Dunmanway and Rosscarbery.
I have met with officials in Cork County Council, my own OPW Officials and the many residents and business owners who have been dealing with this terrible situation for the last week.’
Cork County Council has worked in close partnership with the Office of Public Works for many years on various major flood relief schemes across the county – with Skibbereen, Mallow and Fermoy completed, Bandon substantially complete and the works at Clonakilty in the final stages of construction.
Chief executive of Cork County Council, Tim Lucey, welcomed Minister O’Donovan to West Cork, adding ‘It has been extremely challenging for the communities that have been impacted by the recent flooding in the region. Following this exceptionally high localised rainfall over a short number of days, Cork County Council crews have worked relentlessly to assist and protect local residents and business, while carrying out emergency repair works for the safety of all road users.
‘We are now assessing the significant impact of these flood events, to allow us to chart a clear and accurate plan for remediation.’
Minister of Donovan remarked: ‘The extent of the damage to the road network and infrastructure needs to be carefully examined by the relevant professionals and I would like to assure the communities affected that funding will be made available to deal with the aftermath of this destruction.
‘I will also report back to my ministerial colleagues in government on the overall picture here in Cork and every effort will be made by those other Departments to step in and provide the necessary financial resources to the Council. I would like to reassure the communities affected that this will be done and it will be done as quickly and efficiently as possible”.
Local independent county councillor, Declan Hurley, welcomed the Minister’s visit and was delighted that the Minister has pledged financial support to Cork County Council to carry out necessary works to address the problems, which caused the flooding in Chapel Street, Castle Street and Woodbrook.
He said, ‘I am pleased the Minister took the time to meet with the residents of Chapel Street who were able to make him aware first hand of the situation and the disruption the flooding is causing them.’