8 December 2015
By Bryan T. Smyth
Sinn Féin Councillor Rachel McCarthy has commended the people of Bandon as nearly 2,000 people took to streets last night to protest against the failure to deliver the repeatedly promised flood relief system and main drainage scheme for the town.
“Six years after the 2009 flooding, which caused major devastation in our town, the people of Bandon feel extremely angry and let down. We have been here time and again. We get promises and we get lip service but nothing has ever been done.
“The government and the OPW were repeatedly told that this would happen again. The ball has been dropped once more and it is the people and businesses in this town who are again left counting the cost and paying the price.
“These extreme weather conditions are now becoming more regular. In 2009, a very bright spotlight was shone on the infrastructure deficiencies that we have in Bandon. Here we are in 2015 and we are dealing with the same issues again. Nobody can tell me that the adversity being faced by the people of Bandon right now wasn’t completely avoidable.
“We were supposed to have a flood defence system by 2013. We need the government to step up to plate now and explain to clearly explain the delays regarding the tendering process.
“Temporary flood relief measures were never the solution and they are no longer acceptable going forward. We need to see a more tangible product coming from the interactions between the County Council and the OPW. To be fair, councillors from all parties and none have been stressing the fact that the disaster ,which happened six years ago, was very likely to happen again if the schemes weren’t delivered. Sadly, this prediction has now come to pass.
“The people of Bandon have come to together and supported each other in the face of a disaster that was completely avoidable. We would all be much better of if the government could match the level of community spirit in Bandon with a determination to solve the underlying problems.
I want to commend each and every person who marched last night. We won’t be going away quietly. Listening to promises and waiting for the powers that be to cop-on and get the job done is no longer an option. We will keep campaigning until Bandon gets the flood protection system that it needs and deserves.”