Traders want rivers to be dredged despite EU rules
Flood-hit traders have pleaded with the Government to adopt a British-style approach to flood control and sanction major dredging of rivers, irrespective of EU regulations.
Traders in Bandon, Co Cork, claim that if more widespread dredging was allowed, the scale of flooding would have been significantly reduced.
Dredging of rivers is strictly controlled because of the potential impact on fish stocks and spawning grounds.
However, British Prime Minister David Cameron ordered that major dredging be recommenced in parts of the UK after a series of disastrous floods.
Munster Arms Hotel owner Don O’Sullivan said the Government needed to make up its mind whether fish stocks were more important than businesses and homes.
“This is a huge issue – there is absolutely no doubt that major river dredging would certainly ease the scale of the problem,” he said.
“It mightn’t get rid of the flood risk, but it would certainly help reduce the severity.
“They really should follow the British example – dredge the rivers and deal with the EU afterwards.”
Locals also want Cork County Council and Irish Water to agree a series of interim measures to protect the town, pending the start of a €10m flood relief scheme.
These range from increasing wall heights in strategic places and the installation of one-way valves on storm drains and sewers.
The Office of Public Works Bandon flood relief scheme is set to begin construction next year.