Developing a food alleviation plan for Cork

February 7, 2014

This week’s flooding in Cork again devastated many businesses and homes in the centre of our city.  Regrettably the reaction to the 2009 floods in Cork did not prioritise a long term plan to protect our city.  While criticism of the length of time it is taking to implement a flood defence scheme is legitimate it is important to understand that the flood situation in Cork is not straightforward.  Progressing a scheme for the city involves complex and detailed preparations to ensure that the best possible long term solution is found.  However, having spoken to Minister Brian Hayes this week, I am glad that, finally, progress is being made.

On Thursday February 6 Minister of State with responsibility for the OPW, Brian Hayes visited the city meeting with the Lord Mayor, Councillors, City Manager and representatives of local businesses.  The Minister said that up to €100 million will be made available to carry out flood protection work for Cork.  He also stated that a possible starting date for the three-year project will be in 2015.  In the interim a forum between the OPW, City Council and local businesses is being set up to explore interim measures that can help alleviate the problem.

Last April the OPW appointed Arup Engineers to develop proposals based on the 2006 Catchment Flood Risk Assessment and Management (CFRAM) Study for the River Lee Catchment.  The main objectives of this work include:-

  1. A flood forecasting system to facilitate optimum decision-making on dam discharges.
  2. A viable, cost-effective and sustainable Scheme, to permit provide protection along the Lower Lee and through Cork City against residual fluvial flooding and flooding from high tides and surge levels.

On July 17, 2013 Arup held a Public Information Day to outline the study and the process involved in developing the plan. Next it is intended to bring the emerging preferred scheme before the public; 29th July 2014 has been set as the date for this Public Information Day.  Following this the scheme will be further refined, an Environmental Impact Assessment will be completed and a formal Public Exhibition will commence towards the end of the year.

It is expected that this scheme will be the largest flood relief scheme ever undertaken by the OPW, costing between €50 and €100 million.  Given the substantial investment required work must only commence we are absolutely sure that we have the right solution for the City.

Apart from the proposed scheme for the central city area, studies are also being advanced for, Douglas/Togher. A Flood Relief Scheme for Douglas and Togher is currently being advanced by Cork County Council with funding to be provided by Office of Public Works (OPW).  It is understood that Cork County Council has signed a contract for consultants in the last two weeks to take the development of a Flood Relief Scheme for Douglas and Togher.  It is hoped that proposals to deal with the problems in these areas will be brought forward for public consultation before the end of 2014.  The OPW has made provision for the costs of these schemes in its multi-annual budgets; however the funding will be subject to review depending on actual budget allocations.

Posted under Blog, Cork City, Douglas, Environment, Finance, Infastructure, South Central, South East, South West

Buttimer welcomes grant funding for St. Finbarr’s National Hurling & Football Club and Togher Family Centre

Friday, December 20th 2013

  • Funding for St. Finbarr’s National Hurling & Football Club and Togher Family Centre recognises the excellent work done by both organisations. 

I am delighted that Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Frances Fitzgerald, TD, has recognised the excellent work of both St. Finbarr’s National Hurling & Football Club and Togher Family Centre in the latest round of national lottery grants.  This funding will allow for the further development of some already excellent community services.

The €8,000 granted to St. Finbarr’s National Hurling & Football Club is being given towards the costs involved in their new ball wall. This wall for football, hurling and handball provides the opportunity for a range of activities that can be incorporated into any coaching session to improve an individual’s skills.  At a time when fundraising is difficult for many clubs I hope that this funding will make the efforts of all volunteers in the club that bit easier.

Togher Youth Resilience Project – Happy Hub – based at Togher Family Centre is to receive €5,500.  This will enable the team to provide quality affordable activities to over 50 children a week.  The initiative will take place during July 2014 and it will encourage the children participating to reach their full potential.  Togher Family Centre already provides great support in the development of early years education and the provision of childcare, this funding will now allow it to further expand the services it offers to the local community.

Across our city there are many groups that provide valuable community services, often relying on the volunteering spirit of those who freely give their time.  Each of these groups plays an important role in developing a sense of community, providing healthy and positive activities that are widely available.  This latest round of funding supports the efforts of all those who have helped develop St. Finbarr’s National Hurling & Football Club and Togher Family Centre in to important community resources.

Posted under Children & Youth Affairs, Cork City, South Central, South West, Sport

€2.9m Govt investment in Cork will ensure delivery of robust water infrastructure – Buttimer

Tuesday, 26th November 2013

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government, Phil Hogan, TD, has approved the design proposals for the Cork City Water Supply Scheme – Network Contract (Wilton – Lee Road Trunk Main).
The Minister’s approval of Cork City Council’s design proposals for the Wilton – Lee Road Trunk Main element of the Cork City Water Supply Scheme – Network Contract is a very significant decision.  This decision will ensure that Cork has a robust water infrastructure that can cope with disruptions to supply from the Lee Road water treatment plant.

I very much welcome this important investment in Cork’s water infrastructure.  It is estimated that the project will cost just over €2.9 million and will deliver a new trunk main connection between the Lee Road Water Treatment Plant and an existing 600mm diameter pipeline from the Cork Harbour & City Water Supply Scheme, at the Wilton Road Roundabout.  This will allow water from the Cork Harbour & City water scheme to be used to supply Cork City in the event of future disruptions to the supply from the Lee Road WTP.

When vast areas of Cork City were left without water following severe flooding, which damaged the Lee Road WTP, it exposed the inadequacies of our water infrastructure.  There had been no significant investment in our water infrastructure and our water supply system had no way of coping. There was no way of supplying mains water to thousands of people living in Cork. This project will help to overcome that problem; it will ensure that water can be diverted to homes and businesses in the event of any future problems with the Lee Road plant.

This allocation of funding advances the commitment in the Programme for Government to invest in our water infrastructure, to ensure that there is an adequate supply as well as meeting the highest international standards.  Locally, this is an extremely important scheme and it is important that Cork City Council now proceeds to tendering and delivery phases as soon as possible.

Posted under Cork, Cork City, Environment, Infastructure, South West