RESIDENTS and business owners in Ring are worried that flooding will be worse in their area following the completion of the Clonakilty flood relief scheme.
A motion calling on Cork County Council and the Office of Public works to survey and rectifying existing flooding issues in and around Ring was tabled by Cllr Paul Hayes (SF) at a meeting of the West Cork Municipal District.
Cllr Hayes pointed out that there are a number of houses in the Ring area that are prone to flooding and he said the road between Ring and Clonakilty becomes impassable during flood situations too.
‘People are worried that the flooding in Ring will be made worse by the Clonakilty flood relief scheme’ he said and asked: ‘If the water is kept out of Clonakilty will it impact on Ring?’
Residents were told at a public meeting that the flood water would ‘disperse around the bay’ but he said that has not reassured locals.
It was agreed that the Municipal District would to write to the OPW to highlight the residents’ concerns and the Council members also discussed the impact a 30-week closure of the road to Ring will have on the business life of the community.
Cllr Christopher O’Sullivan (FF) said he too had concerns because: ‘If you build a wall around Clonakilty, the water is going to have to come out somewhere.’
He said: ‘Ring is being seen as collateral damage’ and the residents feel that ‘Ring is the forgotten village.’
Both Cllr Hayes and Cllr O’Sullivan raised the issue of widening the road to Ring and the possibility of acquiring private land to create a footpath leading from
Ring to Clonakilty. Cllr John O’Sullivan (FG) said he too believed that Ring was going to be ‘significantly discommoded’ as a result of the Clonakilty flood relief works and that the residents there ‘are owed some kind of flood defence dividend.’ At the very minimum, Cllr O’Sullivan said an investment should be made in installing non-return values to prevent homes and businesses in the area being flooded.
But the area engineer, Michael Tobin, expressed reservations about using non-return values without a proper assessment saying it could impact another part of the village.
Mr Tobin pointed out that the proposed eight-month closure of the Ring Road had been reduced toa 30-week schedule of works and said there was a traffic diversion in place.
The engineer said the road measures 7.5m and the rig that will be working in the area measures 7m so there is ‘physically no room to put in a walkway.’