Flooding has been a major problem in Carrick-on-Suir
A Carrick-on-Suir councillor has criticised the OPW report on the flooding that devastated Carrick-on-Suir during the 2015 Christmas holiday period, for failing to recommend investment in upgrading water pumps in the town.
FF Cllr Kieran Bourke has levelled the criticism after examining the report that was presented to councillors at the latest monthly meeting of Carrick-on-Suir Municipal District.
The report is to be discussed by councillors at the next Municipal District meeting on November 29 where they will have an opportunity to raise questions with Council management.
Cllr Bourke said upgrading the water pumps is needed to ensure they have the capacity to deal with the re-occurrence of a similar flooding event in the town in the future and he is disappointed this isn't proposed.
"It's a shame that after three years the OPW didn't even address that the pumps need to be looked at. What the report mentions about the pumps is vague.”
Cllr Bourke said he was very disappointed details of the capacities of the Irish Water pumps that failed to pump water during the flooding were not available to the OPW when it was preparing the report.
According to the report, this meant it was "not possible to say what rates of flow escaped from these pumping stations as a result of the failure of the pumps".
On receiving the report at the Municipal District's October meeting, Cllr Bourke said Carrick people's biggest concern was the perfomance of the pumps during the flooding crisis. He told Council management the report didn't refer at all to the fact that a water pump failed on the town's South Quay.
He said during the flooding, he transported water pumps from Kilrossanty in Co. Waterford to Carrick-on-Suir to pump away flood water and one of them was used on the South Quay. Another pump was used on the North Quay where a pump also failed.
He said the flood report should be put on the agenda of the District's next meeting as it warranted discussion.
His proposal was seconded by fellow Carrick Cllr David Dunne (SF), who said he was disappointed the report took so long to be published.
Cllr Dunne said there was a lot of anger in Carrick over the flooding. He had sought an independent report and he wondered if the Council's decision to press ahead with the OPW investigation was the right one.
Carrick MD Administrator Martin Nolan said the most positive finding of the OPW Report was that the town's flood defences operated the way they were supposed to operate.
"There is a number of things identified in the report that need to be followed up. Some have been done and we will be following up others in the coming months to ensure we are as prepared as we can be in the future.”
Carrick-on-Suir MD Director Pat Slattery told councillors the Flood Report was commissioned in early 2016 and he confessed he was disappointed it wasn't finalised until now.
He recounted that the draft report was prepared by the OPW pretty quickly and the main actions it set out were acted on quickly. But certain parts of the report didn't reflect what the Council felt happened.
Mr Slattery said he was “more satisfied” with the final report.