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Thursday 24 October 2019

Floods: Damage to weir puts regatta under threat

‘Neglect’: The River Blackwater in Fermoy, Co Cork. Photo: Provision
‘Neglect’: The River Blackwater in Fermoy, Co Cork. Photo: Provision

Ralph Riegel

One of Ireland's most famous rowing and angling centres has had to suspend water-based activities because of severe damage to the town's historic weir.

The weir on the River Blackwater at Fermoy, Co Cork, sustained damage from neglect and repeated flooding. River levels by the town have fallen so low that water sports such as rowing and swimming are now impossible.

The town's famous regatta now faces the threat of its first cancellation in 80 years - and major doubt also surrounds the popular Fermoy Triathlon.

Last week a delegation from Fermoy pleaded at the Oireachtas Petitions Committee for weir repairs to be carried out as a priority.

Fermoy Rowing Club official Stephen Donnellan said the situation was very worrying. "We have 120 junior members in our club. They cannot train at the moment. We are looking at a very serious situation where for the first time in over 80 years we cannot hold a regatta," he said.

"More seriously, if the weir is not repaired we are potentially looking at the demise of the club which has been here since 1884."

Repairs have been delayed because of protracted negotiations between Cork County Council and Inland Fisheries Ireland over the precise cost and nature of the weir works.

Irish Independent

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