Social Democrats TD for Cork South-West, Holly Cairns, is seeking immediate action and greater consultation with communities after successive flood events in the past two weeks.

Holly said:

“We’re now in our third week of flooding in West Cork. Towns and communities, including Bandon, Skibbereen and Bantry, have been affected by floods recently.

“This situation is deeply concerning at the best of times, never mind during the hardest of years for families and businesses impacted by Covid-19.

“Bantry is the latest town to be impacted after Bandon, Skibbereen, Rosscarbery and Rathbarry. It is imperative that these communities are financially supported and immediate action is taken to address the underlying issues causing the floods.

“There is an immediate need for the Government, the OPW, and the Council to work with local communities in developing new and urgent flood management systems. Residents and business owners understand where the problems are in their areas and often have very simple, but effective, solutions. It is essential that the Government be proactive on this problem before more storms hit.

“Those without flood insurance simply can’t afford to front the cost of inaction. The OPW and Council need to acknowledge any responsibility they have and compensate the affected families and businesses.

“Many of the recent flood events were preventable. In Bantry, it seems to have been a capacity issue with a culvert, a problem which has been raised locally numerous times, especially in recent weeks.

“While Bandon has received millions in flood relief, it still experienced flooding overnight, possibly due to issues with underground pumps – this simply is not good enough.

“The OPW needs to conduct reviews of all these cases and draw up a list of issues before these vulnerabilities are replicated in other flood management projects.

“Poor planning, combined with inaction over the years, results in these areas flooding and communities having to accept highly-invasive and expensive infrastructure when simple and more robust measures would have provided the solution.”

August 25, 2020

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