A plan for Fermoy fish pass is now in place
Following a lot of uncertainty about costing and a line of temporary fixes, Fermoy Town Council have now agreed on plan for the fish pass, which will incorporate a bypass at the side of the river to allow fish to safely pass through.
At this week's town council meeting, three options were put forward by Edward Fitzgerald of engineering company TJ O'Connor and Associates. One of these was to repair what is already there, which was quashed as it would still leave them with existing issues and the other was to put in rock ramps and this was shot down, as it could change the water levels for rowing or other boating activities.
The final potential solution, which was unanimously accepted as the best option, was to put in a bypass on the North bank and this will be designed and put through the planning process straight away.
Town Manager, Katherine Walshe, told the councillors that they have to carry out remedial works on the fish pass to ensure that all of the different habitats and species of fish can get through.
The council will now carry out a temporary fix for the fish pass, which will be carried out between May 1 and September 30, while progressing long term plans to put in the bypass, which may or may not include an amenity area for people to sit and watch the river.
It was also pointed out that the bypass option would be the most costly, but a specific figure was not put on it, while the Town Manager said that they currently have €150,000 to put towards it and will apply for funding.
Councillors were also in favour of the fact that the bypass would mean that most of the construction work is done on dry land, rather than trying to work in the middle of the river.
While discussing the merits and pitfalls of each plan, Cllr John Murphy said that rock ramps would not be accepted, as these would interfere with water levels and affect the rowing club and other water activities.
"We should do a proper job - it's part of our heritage," he said.
Confirming that something needed to be done to reach a resolution on what is to be done with the fish pass, Mayor Michael Hanley said: "This circus cannot continue."
Cllr Seamus Coleman pointed out that five years ago the council found themselves in the same position, trying to come up with a solution for the weir and fish pass and that these temporary fixes costing in the region of €20,000 will continue to add up, so a permanent solution needed to be agreed on.
Cllr Noel McCarthy added that it is disappointing that the fish pass is still a topic for discussion for the council, but that the bypass seems to be the right way to go and that the council need to act now to get it done.
Friday 19th April 11:11am