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Waterways Ireland must compensate Corbally residents after flood – Quinlivan

14 December, 2015 - by Maurice Quinlivan

Limerick Sinn Féin Councillor Maurice Quinlivan has called on Waterways Ireland to admit culpability for the recent flooding in Corbally, Limerick after 14 homes were devastated by flooding and the local school and rugby club were also affected. Cllr. Quinlivan has called on the body to make restitution to those affected after what he describes as “serious neglect and ineptitude” in the monitoring of the Canal Bank where the flooding occurred.

 Cllr Quinlivan said:

“It is now clear that Waterways Ireland’s failure to monitor the Canal Bank caused the serious flood in Corbally on Saturday. This was not an ‘act of god’ or ‘freak of nature’; rather, it was something which could have been easily avoided. I am in no doubt it was primarily caused by the ineptitude of Waterways Ireland. Approximately 14 houses at Richmond Park, Corbally were flooded, the Local School was affected and the local Rugby Club, St. Mary’s RFC is still assessing potential damage to its facilities as a result of this flooding.

“Local residents are rightly incensed with what they see as serious neglect and ineptitude of those supposedly in charge of the Canal. They firmly believe that their concerns were ignored. If these concerns were taken into consideration and appropriate action taken then people would not be standing in their flooded homes today.

“On Thursday, along with my fellow Sinn Fein Cllr, Malachy McCreesh, I observed workers from Waterways Ireland on the Canal Lock gate. There was clearly a problem with the water level in the canal. The Park Locke gates were closed and the water was backed up with nowhere to go. Fortunately on that occasion, a potential flood was prevented which threatened Lelia Place, St. Mary’s RFC and potentially both AbbeyLock and AbbeyVale, They managed to force open the Lock Gate literally minutes before local homes were flooded.

“Yet here we are three days later with the same problem with the Lock Gate. The exact same problem occurred again but this time homes were flooded. Waterways Ireland was aware of the problem with the Lock Gate but clearly didn’t take effective action. In effect they were playing roulette with the homes of local residents. Their failure to stop the build-up of water in the canal combined with their failure to maintain the Lock Gate in a state ‘fit for purpose’ is disgraceful; especially in the light of their near miss on Thursday.  Somebody must be held to account.

“It is simply not good enough that this can happen. We need a response and I will be calling for Waterways Ireland to address the next Metropolitan Meeting and explain exactly what happened and to compensate the Corbally residents as a matter of urgency.” 

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