ROWING CLUB SEEKS URGENT MEETING WITH TOWN COUNCIL
Fermoy Rowing Club is seeking an urgent meeting with the local town council following a letter received from Minister Conor Lenihan concerning the delay in repairing the town’s weir.
In a letter to the town clerk, a copy of which was obtained by The Avondhu, the minister states: “I refer to your letter of 14 September advising that the council would not be able to strictly comply with the direction I issued on 21 December 2009 under section 116 of the Fisheries (Consolidation) Act 1959 requiring Fermoy Town Council to carry out immediate repair works at Fermoy Weir to reduce the barrier effect of the weir on the migration of salmon and lamprey which are protected species under the Habitats Directive.
"I went to some lengths to facilitate the council by allowing for the repair of the current fish pass and it is with some disappointment that I learn that the required works will not now commence until quarter 1 of 2011.”
Minister Lenihan went on to state that he was aware that salmon had in fact been unable to cross the weir during recent low water levels.
“In light of the lack of progress on the repair works and should fish passage deteriorate further, Fermoy Town Council will need to consider and develop contingency plans it will put in place to alleviate this situation and liaise closely with Inland Fisheries Ireland in this regard,” the Minister’s letter continued.
In closing, Minister Lenihan said: “On a final note it is critical that the council deliver on its undertaking to complete the required works as expeditiously as possible as no further time slippage can be entertained.”
Fermoy Rowing Club secretary Donal O’Keeffe is requesting an urgent meeting with the town council.
He told The Avondhu: “On the 16 of December 2009 the minister gave Fermoy Town Council a year to repair the damaged fish pass on Fermoy weir. The minister received a reply, on September 14, 2010, to the effect that the town council, in conjunction with the Office of Public Works, was in the process of drawing up detailed plans for the repair.
"As an acknowledged stake holder in the future of the Blackwater River in Fermoy, it is a matter of great concern to Fermoy Rowing Club that it took the town council nine months to reply to the minister.”
“Furthermore, in that time there has been no consultation whatsoever with us. Given that we established, at European level last year, that a simple repair of the damaged fish pass would satisfy Ireland’s obligations under the EU Habitats Directive and noting the minister’s re-stated concern at what he calls “further time slippage”, we are seeking an urgent meeting with the town council and with the Office of Public Works at the earliest opportunity.”
Thursday 7th October 7:23pm