Fermoy Rowing Club is to meet with the Junior Minister at the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources Sean Power TD on December 10 to “tell him the contempt his department has shown the people of Fermoy,” Paul Kavanagh of the club said this week.
Speaking to The Avondhu Mr Kavanagh said the rowing club felt their presentation, which ran in The Grand Hotel at the same time as a Department of Communications seminar on the proposed removal of the Fermoy weir last Wednesday November 19, was well received with 298 of the 300 attendees signing a book of protest at the plans.
Mr Kavanagh said that the ‘lies told about the club’ by department officials last Wednesday led to the heated scenes that prompted one rowing club supporter to contactThe Avondhu over his disappointment at the confrontational nature of the evening.
“I admit that things got heated, and to be fair it was not just members of Fermoy Rowing Club who were angry. I admit one person got quite irate but that was a direct response to the mistruths about our previous meetings with the officials,” said Mr Kavanagh, adding that their own engineer’s report will be made available to the public when ready.
“Fermoy seems guilty until proven innocent,” Mr Kavanagh said of the struggle the club has had in reaching a compromise over the issue, adding that two questions asked by a prominent local engineers were ‘ignored’ by department officials.
“The Duke is fighting this on constitutional and conservational grounds but we simply do not have the money to do that,” he said of the Duke of Devonshire who opposes similar action on a weir at Careysville near Lismore.
Fermoy Rowing Club will be campaigning on the weir issue every Saturday until Christmas, with a major protest planned before then.
An information sheet will also be produced for circulation.