David Stanton, Fine Gael TD for Cork East ha raised the need for the Government to provide more funding to prevent and alleviate landslides in the Cobh area in Dail Eireann. Funding could also be used to carry out repairs works to areas damaged by landslides in the past.
“In response to a parliamentary question last week the Minister for the Environment confirmed that he had received a request from Cobh Town Council seeking funding for slope stabilisation works in Cobh. On foot of this request, the Minister asked Cork County Council and Cobh Town Council to commission an independent export report on what work was required.
“I understand from the Minister that a consulting engineering firm has been assessing the retaining structures in Cobh. They will then be recommending remediation works with the most urgent works taking priority. The Department of Environment officials have also met with staff from both Councils to discuss the situation and to agree a works schedule.
“The Department of the Environment has provided approximately €5 million in funding for landslide works over a number of decades. I believe the last funding amount was for €1 million in 2008/2009 and I would hope that more will be made available without delay as is really needed.
“The Minister stated he expects that a decision on the recent funding request shortly. I would urge him to accede to the funding request so the necessary and urgent works can be carried out in Cobh as soon as possible.
PQ Attached Below
Question No. 470
To ask the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government if he has received any requests for funding from Cobh Town Council or Cork County Council to prevent or alleviate landslides in Cobh or to repair damaged caused by landslides in the area; if so, will he provide details of same; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
– David Stanton.
For WRITTEN answer on Tuesday, 12th October, 2010.
Ref No: 36514/10
Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government (Mr. Gormley):
My Department has received a request from Cobh Town Council seeking funding for proposed slope stabilisation works in Cobh. Since the early 1980s my Department has provided significant financial assistance to Cobh Town Council for stabilisation works, the most recent funding being circa €1m in 2008/2009 with total funding of circa €5m having been provided.
In an effort to ensure the best use of resources and to gain a long-term expert view of the required stabilisation works an independent expert report was commissioned jointly by Cork County Council and Cobh Town Council, at my Department’s request. The Councils appointed Malachy Walsh & Partners Consulting Engineers to assess the retaining structures in Cobh and to recommend remediation proposals, prioritising those works with greatest urgency attaching.
My Department has initiated meetings with representatives from both Councils to discuss the situation on the ground and in particular to agree an expedited schedule for the most urgently required works as outlined in the independent report.
I expect that consideration of the most recent funding request will be concluded by my Department shortly and the outcome will be communicated to the Councils without delay.