For Oral Answer on : 28/04/2022
Question Number(s): 111 Question Reference(s): 21401/22
Department: Public Expenditure and Reform
Asked by: David Stanton T.D.
To ask the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the works funded by the Office of Public Works on the Womanagh River, near Ballymacoda, County Cork within the past twenty years; the amount expended on same to date; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
The Office of Public Works (OPW) is responsible for the maintenance of Arterial Drainage Schemes and catchment drainage schemes designated under the Arterial Drainage Acts of 1945 and 1995. The Womanagh River does not form part of an Arterial Drainage Scheme. Therefore, the OPW has no responsibilities for the maintenance of the river.
The maintenance of all drainage schemes carried out under earlier Acts, known as Drainage Districts, is the responsibility of the relevant Local Authority. A significant stretch of the Womanagh River forms the Womanagh Drainage District which is the responsibility of Cork County Council to maintain.
Other sections of the Womanagh River have historic embankment defences in private ownership, such as those at Ballymacoda. Commencing around 2007, prior to the introduction of the OPW Minor Flood Mitigation Works and Coastal Protection Scheme in 2009, the OPW assisted on a pilot basis with embankment repair works for a length of the embankment downstream of Crompaun Bridge, on the west side of the river, at an estimated cost of approximately €275,000. The embankment repair works were completed by the OPW in 2012.
Local flooding issues are a matter, in the first instance, for each Local Authority to investigate and address. All Local Authorities may carry out flood mitigation works using either their own resources or by applying for funding under the OPW Minor Flood Mitigation Works and Coastal Protection Scheme. In 2021, the OPW approved funding of €34,392 to Cork County Council for the repair and replacement of a tidal sluice on the Womanagh River at Pilmore.