FERMOY WEIR ISSUES RAISED BY CLLR HANLEY
There may come a time when clubs and associations in Fermoy will have to be charged for the privilege of using the River Blackwater, writes Brian Moore.
This, and other difficult decisions concerning the Blackwater as it flows through the town of Fermoy, is, according to one town councillor, a subject that has to be discussed and debated now that the weir is the legal responsibility of Fermoy Town Council.
“The repair of the weir will not be a one off cost and the people of Fermoy need to be aware of this fact. Why should Fermoy town businesses and local taxpayers be responsible for what is in effect a substantial enterprise in its own right,” Cllr Michael Hanley told The Avondhu.
“The weir will need to be maintained each year and the cost of this will also need to be covered by the town council which means the people of Fermoy will be paying,” Cllr Hanley continued. Other questions have also arisen about the maintenance of the river.
“Now that the council is responsible for the weir, who owns the bridge, who owns the river bed on which the weir and the bridge stand? On the downstream side of the bridge there is an island which has formed over the last few years.
"This is also causing the river to change course and it should, I feel, be removed. I want to see a debate about these issues and I propose the formation of a Fermoy river authority with representatives from all the clubs and associations who are involved with the use of the river,” Cllr Hanley said.
“The River Blackwater is a major asset to the town and if we want to develop this asset for the future then we may need to take decisions that are not popular with everybody. I feel that if we remove the island that has formed on the down streamside of the bridge this will also help with the prevention of flooding in the future.
Right now, as photographs will show, the course of the riverbed is changing and we are witnessing the creation of rivulets amongst mounds of gravel and greenery. Eventually surely they will meet and then what? It is very important that we debate and discuss these issues now before they get even further out of control and thus cost more money to rectify in the years to come,” Cllr Hanley concluded.
Thursday 1st July 6:18pm