MINISTER BRIEFED ON WEIR CONTROVERSY
The weir controversy in Fermoy is proving a costly, time consuming and extremely distracting business for Fermoy Rowing Club. Like so many Government initiatives this well intentioned proposal (primarily aimed at assisting fish and other aquatic life to migrate upriver to breed) has become mired in controversy.
In fairness to Fermoy Rowing Club they’ve never questioned the motivation behind the directive and have only requested that modifications to the weir not be so great as to threaten their sport.
An undoubtedly expensive report was commissioned to ‘assist the process’ and one of their recommendations is very simply that Fermoy town weir be repaired – with a bit of tweaking all are in agreement the existing weir could do a little better the job it has been doing for hundreds of years.
The repair option, which in theory, shouldn’t cost the earth, is the favoured option of Fermoy Rowing Club who find themselves at the centre of a controversy that should never have arisen in the first place.
Minister John Gormley is undoubtedly an honourable man but it’s probably fair to say he is not exceptionally knowledgeable about the migration patterns of salmon or eels or the finer points of amateur rowing.
Nevertheless the weir controversy has found its way on to his desk. A campaign visit to Fermoy last Thursday allowed the minister get the lie of the land so to speak and despite the claustrophobic attempts of some public representatives, rowing club activist, Donal O’Keeffe was able to provide the Green Party leader with a guided tour of the weir, Ashe Quay and the Fermoy Rowing Club house.
Mr. Gormley seemed genuinely interested in what he was being told and Donal expressed satisfaction that he had received a fair hearing.
The fact that rowing club representatives started off with junior minister, John Browne, then had to deal with Sean Power and now are in the hands of Conor Lenihan certainly hasn’t made the process any easier.
You are left feeling that if Minister Gormley, a few officers from Fermoy Rowing Club and a competent engineer were given a few hours together the whole sorry business could be cleared up.
Regrettably this isn’t how things are done and in true bureaucratic fashion, another report relating to the previous report may be needed to take things to the next level.
We await developments.
Thursday 4th June 7:27pm