Flooding in Clonakilty. Pic: West Cork Times

THIS EVENT HAS BEEN CANCELLED – organisers hope to reschedule for a later date

A PUBLIC information meeting for the people of Clonakilty – aimed particularly at residents and businesses that were affected by flooding this summer, or those who feel they live in vulnerable areas, will be held at 8pm at The Venue, O’Donovan’s Hotel, this Friday evening, September 28th.

Organised by the Town Mayor, Cllr Cionnaith Ó Súilleabháin, the meeting is called three months after the initial flood of  June 28th and one month after the second flooding of August 28th, and he is asking a representative from every household and business affected by flooding in recent months to attend if possible.


The Mayor said, “Three months on from the devastation caused by the worst flooding of Clonakilty in living memory, and one month on from another serious incident, I want to encourage people to attend this meeting, which will outline reasons why certain areas flooded during the two 28s in question.


“But more importantly, I want to report to the people what has been done by the local authority since these disasters to try to prevent re-occurrences.


“As well as that, I wish to announce how we as a community, lead by the council and other statutory organisations, will deal with future weather warnings, and indeed how we should react in emergency situations if no-warning flash flooding should occur again,” he said.


The mayor added that another purpose of the meeting is to outline the reality of the details, timescales and breakdown of responsibilities in constructing infrastructure in the short, medium and long-term which will hopefully prevent and minimise risk to houses and businesses.


On the night, there will also be representatives of companies who supply flood protection systems for buildings, so that people may speak with them and possibly place orders.


“At the end of the day, we cannot control the weather and natural elements. However, we must do everything we can as soon as possible as we head into the official winter to prevent or at least to minimise risks to peoples home, businesses and property.


“This has to be done by continuous maintenance and improvement of current infrastructure and creation of new methods that will minimise risk of flooding.


“In doing so we must also invoke confidence and be totally honest with the people by informing them of the procedures that will be in place in the event of us ever again experiencing the rainfall like we had on the nights of 28th June and 28th August 2012.


“The people of our town are still in shock since the last flooding events, and some will not be able to return to their homes for several weeks and months yet. We have seen a number of businesses destroyed permanently.


“My intention on Friday night is to try to outline the current situation and to try to assure people that there are now procedures in place in the event of emergency flooding. The people are entitled to this information, which I hope will give them some bit of confidence and hope.


“I have also invited the local TDs as they will have a critical role to ensure that government funding is made available to the OPW and other bodies to protect our town and it’s people,” he concluded.