Flooding in Clon. Pic: West Cork Times

CLONAKILTY Town Mayor, Cllr Cionnaith  Ó Súilleabháin says the West Cork town needs an €11 million investment in flood defences and other works to prevent a repeat of the devastating flooding seen in the town at the end of June.

The Sinn Féin town councillor made the comments following the announcement by Environment Minister Phil Hogan that a special allocation of €300,000 for flood relief has been made to Clonakilty Town Council for clean up costs and ongoing remedial works.

Mayor Cionnaith Ó Súilleabháin.

“While the announcement is very welcome as we deal with the legacy of the 28th of June last, those of us in positions of authority and trust need to keep our focus firmly on the bigger picture.

“Council officials estimate that to resolve all our current flood-related infrastructural issues, and also put systems in place to defend our town adequately against both surface water and tidal flooding in the future, a total figure of €10.5 – €11 millions is required,” he said.

The mayor said that would construction of a tidal barrage across Clonakilty Bay, a system to hold back river waters west of the town, enhancement of the banks of the river, including where necessary building and re-building wall,  non-return valves along the course of the river and other works.

“The devastation and damage to around 500 properties on 28th of June last has shaken the community to its core.
“It will take many months before many people will have recovered from the experience, and there are huge challenges for businesses.

“We need confidence that we will not see a repetition. We need a commitment from government that they are genuinely serious about protecting our community into the future, and the only way to do that is that the local authority gets the necessary funding to proceed as quickly as possible to put proper flood defences in place.

“As long as one house or shop in Clonakilty is vulnerable to flood damage, we cannot rest on announcements like today’s, welcome though it is,” he said.