ANGER GROWS OVER WEIR FUNDING ISSUE
The government’s proposed reconstruction of Fermoy Weir is set to cost the at least €350,000 according to Donal O’Keeffe, a member of the save Fermoy Weir campaign committee.
The preservation of the weir has been a contentious issue for the last few years, with various levels of government (Local, National and European) disagreeing on funding issues. O’Keeffe who is also treasurer of the Fermoy Rowing Club, believes the government’s proposed estimate is far too much.
“We (Save Fermoy Weir Group) feel that €350,000 is crazy amount of money for the tax payer to be paying in these difficult financial times. We have examined the area and sought consultation and the reconstruction of the fish ladder on the weir that would cost in the region of €100,000. That’s a massive difference.”
Mr O’Keeffe is concerned that the Department of Communication Energy and Natural recourses may spend over the proposed estimate.
"In 2006 there was a similar issue with a weir in Kilkenny. At the time the government estimated that the reconstruction of that weir would cost €250,00, but, in the end, it cost the Irish taxpayer over €50 million!”
The Fermoy Rowing Club have been in dispute with the Southern Fishery Board since the issue arose. Mr O’Keeffe believes that the government has been behaving in the best interests of that board. Local Labour party TD Sean Sherlock has called for a compromise between the groups.
“The Southern Fishery Board and the Fermoy Rowing Club need to meet half ways. To try and solve the problem, I think a fish-counter needs to be made on the river. That way, it will be clear just how many fish are passing through the weir.”
Local town councillors have become increasingly frustrated with the issue and independent, councillor, John Murphy told The Avondhu, “Time is ruining out. It’s gone on for far too long and there needs to be a solution fast.”
Thursday 15th April 6:08pm