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For Written Answer on : 26/10/2023
Question Number(s): 151 Question Reference(s): 43841/23
Department: Public Expenditure, National Development Plan Delivery and Reform
Asked by: David Stanton T.D.


To ask the Minister for Public Expenditure; National Development Plan Delivery and Reform the progress made by the OPW in strengthening the bank of a river (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter.

(Details Supplied) Womanagh River, Ballymacoda, Co Cork


The Office of Public Works (OPW) is responsible for the maintenance of Arterial Drainage Schemes and catchment drainage schemes completed under the Arterial Drainage Acts, 1945 and 1995, as amended. 

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. 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. 

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.

The OPW’s Minor Flood Mitigation Works and Coastal Protection Scheme provides funding to local authorities to undertake minor flood mitigation works or studies, costing up to €0.75 million each, to address localised flooding and/or coastal protection problems within their administrative areas.  Funding of up to 90% of the cost is available for approved projects. The commencement and progression of any works for which funding is approved is a matter for each Local Authority concerned.

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. Further funding in 2023 of €121,500 has been provided to Cork County Council for a Coastal Erosion Risk Management Study at Pilmore Cottages, Youghal.  Once this study is complete, Cork County Council may consider submitting an application for structural measures to prevent or mitigate erosion in this area.