Mallow successfully battles severe flooding

Bishop Casey GAA pitch in the Town Park was off-limits for games.

Bishop Casey GAA pitch in the Town Park was off-limits for games.

Severe weather caused major disruption and flooding throughout Co. Cork over Christmas and new year, but Mallow emerged relatively unscathed, thanks to the flood barriers which kept the lower end of the town water-free, though breaches did occur in places.

Minister of State Sean Sherlock praised the tireless efforts of Cork Co. Council, Fire Service, Civil Defence and others to keep roads clear, and added, “I am glad to see that the barriers in Mallow worked and protected businesses and homes. Although there was a small breach in places along the barriers, we no longer have the devastation that previous floods brought to this town. This investment that Mallow saw needs to be replicated now across Cork.” 

Some areas did suffer flooding, however, such as the road under the Ten Arch Bridge, where the council worked continuously to pump away water, and parts of the Spa, while several access roads to the town were impassable. Caravans to the rear of the Mallow Utd dressing rooms in the Town Park were also flooded out, forcing the inhabitants to flee, while there was consternation on the Cork bypass road on Saturday when a horse was spotted tied up in a flooded field, but locals saved the day when they bravely waded into the water to lead the horse back to dry ground.

Cork County Council has made an initial estimate of €5 million in damage throughout the county, with a potential cost of up to €20 million, and Minister Sherlock said that, “The cost assessment of damage by local authorities will filter back to the Department and I am confident that an allocation will be made by government to cover infrastructural damage like roads etc. However, given that further weather warnings are in place, we cannot estimate the full extent of the damage these storms have wrought until they abate. Nevertheless, the government is working with flood victims proactively to assist them, and I would urge anyone who has been affected by flooding to contact the Department of Social Protection or my own office.”

The government also made a series of decisions designed to alleviate the difficulties of those subjected to flooding in their homes and businesses. Those decisions include funding for a hardship recognition scheme for farmers, and a fodder replacement scheme. Other decisions include: the Red Cross compensation scheme to be extended to include sporting facilities, the OPW to oversee two individual pilot home protection schemes, the Department of Transport to bring a road infrastructure damage report to the government, with funding to be supplied in due course, farm family homes to be eligible under the Humanitarian Aid scheme, the  Department of the Environment and OPW to meet with the EU Environment Commissioner, and a new flood forecasting unit to be established. “These decisions will go a long way in the short to medium term to combat the effects that the floods have on communities right around Cork,” stressed Minister Sherlock.