Fears over river access after death of young boy
MACROOM Town Council is to seek advice as to whether or not it is responsible for anyone who is injured as a result of entering local rivers through gates.
The matter was raised at last week's meeting of the Council following the recent death of seven-year-old James Casey-Butler, who drowned in a river in Midleton the week before.
Cllr Martin Coughlan (Lab), raised his concerns over the gate onto the river at St Coleman's Park, and said that locks that are put on the gates across the town are often broken. He added that the recent high-profile case involving the three council workers suspended for filling a pothole without health and safety clearance was an indication of the levels of responsibility expected of Councils.
Mayor Owen McCarthy (FF) asked as to whether or not the council is deemed responsible if people are injured in the river, should they enter the water at the town park. Cllr Ted Lucey (FG) said that many of the gates onto the river in Macroom were put in where there were natural openings available prior to the erection of fencing, and that the Council may have given itself a problem by fencing off the river in the first place.
Cllr Pat O'Connell (FF) suggested that the developers of estates adjacent to the river should be responsible for gates or fencing issues.
Town Clerk Susan Murphy said that she would consult with both the town engineer and health and safety advisors on the matter.