Observations or objections to the €6 million Morrison’s Island scheme closed on April 12th 2018.
The following are the comments I submitted:
Re: Morrison’s Island Walls Project
I wish to submit the following in regards to the proposed scheme for Morrison’s Island:
I consider that the system of river-side walls proposed are a mistake and should not be part of the flood relief plan, the following are the reasons for this:
- I do not believe that there has been either proper, sufficient or balanced consultation with the people in regards to the plan – despite its development over such a long period – in my experience, and I have tried to find out, the vast majority of people are completely unaware of the proposals or their potential impact.
- I think that the walls will present a new danger to Cork, making our safety dependent on the long-term stability of the structures involved. Looking at the project over the period of 100 years I feel it is not unreasonable to expect that breaches will occur in the walls, releasing a higher volume of water quickly into the city centre. Conceivable circumstances causing a disaster might include civil unrest, motor vehicle accident, terrorist attack or natural disasters such a hurricane, earthquake, sudden sinkholes, ‘acts of God’ etc. I welcome the public realm works, but not the walls.
- My belief is that vested interests in the world of construction, engineering and property development are driving this plan as its construction will provide a cash-flow to them for decades to come, from public funds which are needed critically elsewhere.
- I think that essential maintenance, to avoid disaster, of these river-side walls and other supporting works, will be a significant burden on the resources of the people into the future – it does not represent prudent use of public funds.
- I think that deepening the river channels by extensive dredging would increase the flow rate and allow better management of the reservoir/dam capacity, which itself could be better managed.
- I think that construction of an upriver overflow channel, to divert excess water to the coast (or artificial lake) via a different route should be considered.
- I believe that some level of tidal barrier, used in tandem with a deeper river channel would avoid the need for the river-side walls.
- I believe that the river-side walls will remove the river as an amenity to a huge degree. The river Lee is already underused and underdeveloped, but the walls will further take what should be a key economic and cultural resource for the people and for future generations.
- Finally, it will remove the need for the people of Cork to find a new anthem song, for we would no longer be “on the banks of my own lovely Lee”.
I look forward to hearing your comments on this submission.
Cllr Diarmaid Ó Cadhla
Member of Cork County Council