AN outline design for remedial works for the road from Clonakilty to Ring village should be ready shortly, and works could proceed in the summer of 2023, according to a senior engineer Kevin Costello.
Speaking at a meeting of the Western Division of Cork County Council, Cllr John O’Sullivan (FG) said the village of Ring was ‘cut off’ for eight months during the construction of the original flood defence scheme for the neighbouring town of Clonakilty.
As a result of that work, he said the road to Ring was narrowed and the walls were made higher, which has resulted in additional problems for the residents of the village.
‘HGV vehicles can no longer pass at that location,’ he added. Cllr O’Sullivan also warned that residents would resist any attempt to close off the roadway for the duration of the restoration works.
Cllr Paul Hayes (Ind) said he, too, was ‘hugely concerned that in order to rectify the narrow carriageway the road would be closed particularly in the summer of 2023 – the height of the visitor season.’
Both councillors complained that a stream coming down from the convent is also causing surface water flooding at Faxbridge, the roundabout at the edge of town.
However, Mr Costello said that problem would be resolved in the very near future.
Meanwhile, in relation to the Reen dredging contract, the councillors were informed that tenders have been received and are being assessed.
Mr Costelloe said the Council is completing the environmental review process and it is awaiting the granting of foreshore. He said works are due to commence on a date between April and June.
Councillors were informed that the dredging of the pontoon in Courtmacsherry is likely to be considered under a new €35m Brexit scheme for coastal works.
The public consultation process was completed on January 7th and the Council is awaiting the granting of a foreshore licence before the works can go ahead.
However, Cllr John O’Sullivan told The Southern Star he believes the process has become something of a ‘sick joke’ because the Council now has to apply for funding for the Courtmacsherry dredging.
‘We are going around the houses,’ he said. ‘Everyone knows that there are life-saving crews – such as the RNLI – depending on easy access to and from the pontoon and the state it is in at present is dangerous.’
Members of the Western Committee welcomed an announcement that a three-year contract to assist Cork County Council with ‘tier one oil spills’ has been awarded to LCF Marine, a company based on Bere Island.
Cllr O’Sullivan said the awarding of the contract was ‘timely’ given the recent spill in Union Hall when a trawler sank next to the pier.
County mayor Gillian Coughlan (FF) complained about the level of erosion at Broadstrand Bay, as did Cllr Hayes. They pointed out that the dunes at Inchydoney had taken another hammering during the recent storms too.
Some councillors expressed concerns that the inclusion of so many piers and harbours in the special area of conservation would continue to delay development works throughout West Cork.
On a positive note, Cllr Danny Collins (Ind) welcomed the fact that the use of non-return valves and new pumping equipment had proved effective in preventing Bantry being flooded during the recent storms. He paid tribute to the area engineer Ruth O’Brien and the Council crews for being vigilant, especially the morning after Storm Eunice.