Court decision on 2009 floods welcome but flood defences needed – Buttimer

Monday 5th October 2015

  • High Court decides on liability for November 2009 flooding in Cork City

14-cork_floodingThe decision of the court appears to confirm what was already known locally. It has ruled on what caused the November 2009 floods, but it can never undo the devastation that was caused. Those floods and the days that followed will live long in the memory for many thousands of people in Cork.

Having an independent view and explanation of what happened is helpful, but it does nothing to undo the damage of those floods. Businesses and homes were affected across the city centre. People had lifetimes of memories washed away and destroyed. Years of hard work in developing businesses were undone by the floods. November 2009 has left a lasting mark on the city of Cork.

While an explanation is helpful what are needed most are steps to stop the continual problem of flooding in Cork. Areas like Oliver Plunkett Street, Grand Parade and Middle Parish, as well as Togher and Douglas, have been affected by floods on too many occasions.

The Government’s capital plan contains a commitment to putting in place flood defence and prevention system of the scale that Cork requires. It will be the largest flood defence scheme ever undertaken by the Office of Public Works and it shows that this project is getting the priority it rightly deserves. It is expected that works will commence in 2016 following further public consultations on the proposals.


Posted under Cork City, Development, National Work, South Central, South East, South West

Funding for N28 Cork to Ringaskiddy Road gets the go ahead under €27bn Capital Investment Plan – Buttimer

Tuesday 29th September 2015

  • N28 Cork to Ringaskiddy Road included in Capital Investment Plan

AerialRingaskiddy1The Capital Investment Plan will see €27 billion invested in roads, rail, health facilities, schools and broadband, which will make a major difference for communities across Cork city and county.

The Plan has allocated funding for work on the N28 Cork to Ringaskiddy Road, which will go ahead if planning permission is secured. This is a project which has been long called for and it’s great to know that the money is now available to complete this project. This makes it even more important that we continue towards securing planning permission.

The Plan has also approved funding for work on the Dunkettle Interchange, which will improve travel times, make the road safer and make Cork more attractive to businesses.

In light of the recent flooding experienced in Cork city and the high risk of considerable damage to property from both tidal and river flooding, the development and construction of a flood defence scheme for the city has been given a high priority under this plan. The plan will support the largest ever flood defence scheme undertaken by the Office of Public Works and will offer protection from flooding to around 2,000 residential and commercial properties. The scheme will take at least 4 to 5 years to complete. Subject to a successful public consultation on the proposals and statutory approval, it is expected that works will commence in 2016. The total investment will be €430m over a six year period.“Under the Capital Plan funding will also be made available for Haulbowline Island. This funding of €10 million next year and €60 million in total over the next five years will be used for the preparation, design and execution of a permanent ‘clean-up’ of the East Tip site, the former Factory Site and the South Tip at the Island, following completion of site investigations, examinations and surveys.

The Government is committed to the further development of the Irish Maritime Energy Resource Cluster (IMERC) in Cork. This important initiative supports jobs and urban renewal and regeneration in the area. It is regarded by Government as an important national project. Detailed proposals for a number of individual component projects are being finalised and will be supported under the Capital Plan.

It is also proposed to provide €11m for the Cork Event Centre; a multi-million euro 6,000-seat venue on the historic Beamish & Crawford brewery site on South Main Street.

In addition to investment in roads, the Capital Investment Plan will also see considerable investment in Garda stations and Garda resources across the country, as well as a €10 million refurbishment programme for the courts service.

The Plan announced by Government is affordable, sensible and it is consistent with our plan to eliminate borrowing by 2018. It will promote regional economic growth, supporting 45,000 construction jobs over the lifetime of the plan.

The decisions taken by this Government have brought us to an important time in our recovery. We are the fastest growing economy in Europe and we are creating over 1,300 new jobs a week. This plan will help spread the recovery around the country where we know many families have yet to feel the effects of the recovery.

This is a good day for Cork and very welcome news for people across the city and county.


Posted under Carrigaline, Cork City, Development, Douglas, Economic, National Work, Tourism, Transport

Buttimer not convinced by amalgamation of Cork Councils

Monday 21st September 2015

  • Cork Local Government Committee recommends amalgamation of Cork City and County Councils.

Cork City Coat of ArmsSince the publication of the Report of the Cork Local Government Committee I have read and considered its proposals. Regrettably there is little evidence to suggest that recommendations to amalgamate Cork City and County Councils will deliver for the people of Cork. Reform of local government should deliver an outcome that will provide a platform for Cork to become a truly eminent European destination for business and tourism.

Yes, we need to change local government in Cork but I remain to be convinced by these proposals. People and communities must be at the centre of evidence based change. The report contains a number of contradictions and lacks substantive evidence to support its recommendations.

Far from delivering one council the report seems to be creating additional administrative layers and moving decisions further away from people and communities. What is proposed is three ‘divisions’ which closely resemble councils as they are currently structured, it is as if the report envisages three individual councils, not one. Each of these will be subsidiary to the overarching ‘unitary authority’ that won’t be directly elected.

The report recognises the importance of second cities, but then it fails to provide a structure for a second city. Instead it relegates Cork to a municipal district. It cites difficulties in moving staff between councils as a reason for amalgamation. Yet it fails to address the hurdles in merging two large organisations. It recognises the importance of local government in supporting communities yet it proposes to move local government in Cork further away from communities.

We should be confident of successful outcomes before proceeding with reforms. While the report puts forward an outline plan it lacks detail and specifics. Given these shortcomings and that the Committee making the recommendation split as close to 50/50 as is possible, the only definitive outcome is that a lot more work is needed before any change is implemented.

Posted under Cork, Cork City, Environment, National Work

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