Sunday 4 December 2016

Cork traders say delays in flood defence 'inexcusable'

Published 12/04/2016 | 02:30

The main street of Midleton in east Cork under waters from a flash flood
The main street of Midleton in east Cork under waters from a flash flood

Flood-hit Cork traders and householders warned the city cannot be left a hostage to fortune while they wait for the long-delayed €50m flood defence scheme.

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Solicitor Elaine O'Sullivan, who watched her South Terrace premises swamped by a combination of high spring tides and torrential rainfall, warned the treatment of business owners and residents was totally unacceptable last weekend, as Cork suffered its fifth bout of flooding since 2009.

"It is high time that our council and Government wake up and deliver on flooding for Cork city."

The solicitor warned the delay with Cork's flood defence scheme was inexcusable, given the damage after the catastrophic floods of 2009.

"That is seven years ago and construction hasn't even started on the Office of Public Works (OPW) scheme yet. It is simply not good enough."

Ms O'Sullivan's anger was echoed by Cork Business Association boss Laurence Owens.

"It is Groundhog Day for us in Cork. How long will we have to have this conversation?"

The OPW has warned Cork's flood defence scheme is very complex and has taken time to design. It is hoped a contractor will be chosen after tender in mid-2017, with construction work then likely to begin in late 2017 or early 2018.

Irish Independent

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