FERMOY SOUTHSIDERS FEARFUL OVER ANY DELAY IN FLOOD RELIEF PROJECT
Businesses and residents on the southside of the Blackwater in Fermoy have suffered a great deal and at great cost due to flooding over the years, and, at this point in time, they are fearful that their plight may not acknowledged if phase 2 of the Fermoy Flood Relief Scheme is delayed.
Murphy’s Pub in Fitzgerald Place, is one of the businesses, which withstood the floods through the years. Billy Murphy, proprietor, has had the pub for 19 years, but lived in the same street for 66 years.
Talking to The Avondhu, he said, “It was just an acceptable part of life that floods would happen. We would get a bad flood every 7 to 8 years. At one stage the milkman and the mailman were both coming in a boat. 50 years ago nothing could be done about it. You just carried on and whenever you built your house you had to be aware of it".
"When the islands were in the middle of the river the floods were worse. When they were removed the flooding went away, but then it came back.”
Mr Murphy believes that the pattern of flooding has changed in recent years.
“Before, you could judge a flood based on knowledge of the past floods, but now the water is coming at us in a different way. It is coming up the market; before it came the river way. In the pub, now the water comes up the urinal, which has never happened before. The water comes through our floors. We get flooded inside before it happens outside".
"The November flood was a bad one. It is the waiting up all night in the cold. The waiting part is actually worse than getting it. We are built for flooding and just lift everything up, but the dampness lasts for a while and the house stays cold,” he explains.
But what will happen if phase 2 of Fermoy Flood Relief Scheme doesn’t follow immediately after phase 1 is complete? Mr Murphy, along with other residents, fears that if that happens, “If we get a flood we’ll get flooded even worse than before. The water has to go somewhere. Will we be compensated if we get flooded again? Why should we suffer if the Government is responsible for the flooding? Then, they should compensate us.”
Mrs Geraldine McCarthy is a resident living in the same street, Fitzgerald Place, and she is too, very concerned that phase 2 will not happen and the lives of the people running businesses and residing in the area will be greatly affected. “Everybody believes that, with the lack of money, Phase 2 won’t happen. I’ll believe it when I see it happen,” she told The Avondhu.
The floods have been woven in the fabric of her life. “I’ve lived in Fitzgerald Place all my life. I’ve seen floods come and go. I had two properties, a shop and the house. It is devastating. We are always on the lookout for heavy rain, waiting and watching. The water comes out through the floor. I got a new carpet just the week before Christmas and now it’s gone. The dampness in the house is awful. If phase 2 doesn’t happen the flooding will be worse on our side".
Friday 12th March 8:46am