The flooding experienced in parts of Cork last November was a disaster that every citizen hopes won’t revisit our city again.
The Green Party as part of government will do everything possible to help those affected by the disaster and I welcome any suggestions you may have to ensure a repeat of this disaster does not reoccur.
I would like to take this opportunity to set out what we as a partner in government have done to date to address the flooding of last November, and to dispel the misinformation and downright lies that some public figures have expressed for their own personal gain.
In the days following the flooding of Cork, Minister John Gormley visited our city, not for a ‘photo shoot at the sandbags’ as others took the opportunity to do, but to meet with the emergency services and the city manager and city officials to see what his Department could do to get the city back on its feet.
Minister Gormley promised to commit your tax money from his Department’s funding to get the city up and running as quickly as possible.
Cork City Council sent a bill to Minister Gormley in the sum of €3.1 million as the total cost of getting the city back in working order; by return of post Minister Gormley sent a cheque from the Department of Environment in the amount of €3.1 million.
Minister Gormley introduced new planning guidelines this year to prevent building on any land that is prone to flooding (i.e. de-facto floodplains).
Questions need to be asked of the wisdom of allowing development on many de-facto flood plains within the city limits, and the volume of water that could have been accommodated (trapped) in these areas if local ‘officials’ (both elected and appointed) had cried foul of such practice as the Green Party always sought?
The government made your tax monies available to Cork City Council to cover the FULL cost of reinstating the quay walls that collapsed or were undermined by the floods of last November; that the local authority has not drawn down on these funds to date is as frustrating to us in the Green Party as I sure it is to you.
I refer you to the Cork City Managers statement on same (Council meeting of 27th Sept 2010);
“Tenders are being invited shortly and we expect the funding will be sufficient to repair the quay walls at Sundays Well and at the Mercy Hospital.
We hope to commence on site before the end of this year and complete the works in mid 2011.”
John Gormley, as Minister for Environment has no powers in respect of flood prevention, this is the responsibility of the Office of Public Works.
As mentioned at the outset; if you feel there is anything further the Green Party in government can do to help you at this time don’t hesitate to contact my office.
Senator Dan Boyle