CORK North West TD, Aindrias Moynihan has said that although he expects progress on the promised flood relief works in Baile Bhuirne and Ballymakeera later this summer; the process has been painfully slow.
Deputy Moynihan made the comments after being informed by the Minister for the OPW that he expects contracts to be signed this month to implement the changes required as a result of the recent investigation into the Freshwater Pearl Mussel population in the River Sullane.
“At present, the flood relief works are at outline design stage where the preferred options of the scheme are being finalised.
“However, the results from last year’s Freshwater Pearl Mussels investigation must now be reviewed to ascertain the level of changes needed to the original project design in order to protect the mussels as they are protected under the EU Habitat Directive.
“The signing of contracts is the latest step in these flood relief works, and I am hopeful that the planned site investigation will be done over the summer.
“The Minister for Public Expenditure, Paschal Donohoe has also informed me that a second Public Information Day, followed by a Public Exhibition later this year, will allow the local community give their views on the proposed relief works.
“Once these stages are completed, the project will move to detailed design stage after which construction can begin.
“The communities in Baile Bhuirne and Ballymakeera have been waiting a very long time for these flood relief works. While we need to protect the local mussel populations, the urgency of the flood relief works cannot be overestimated.
“The Minister for the OPW should do everything in his power to expedite the process so that works can begin before winter 2016/2017,” concluded Moynihan.