Photograph of a car driving through flood water in Rosscarbery. The image is captioned "West Cork Deserves Better Than This".

Before I had even knocked on my first door in Enniskeane, I witnessed sandbags stacked outside a number of homes. The flooding of a family home is always a devastating event, and the worry and anger that residents felt was clear when they spoke of their experiences. Nobody should have to live in fear of having their home flooded in this day and age; the anxious sleepless nights every time a storm warning is announced are a cruel torture for these people. All of this is terrible regardless of the circumstances, but when the issue is perfectly avoidable, as is the case in Enniskeane, it becomes an insult to the people affected. I, through my experiences with the Shannonvale sewage leak, have a long history of engagement with Irish Water/Uisce Éireann, and I will continue to press them, and the council engineers to provide an adequate, permanent solution for the area.

Just this week, Rosscarbery once again saw another totally avoidable flood engulf the Coach Road, and sections of Newtown. I saw first-hand the junction at the old courthouse rapidly disappearing under the torrent of water that was over-topping the culvert wall, and gushing out from the manhole covers at Newtown and the foot of Tanyard Hill. It is clear to anyone that has seen the volume of water that comes off the steep hills of Rosscarbery, that the existing culvert is drastically undersized, and this issue should have been addressed years ago. While I’m aware that a flood relief scheme is in the works, that is of little comfort to the people living in the area when an orange or red weather warning is announced by Met Éireann. The seeming absence of any clear emergency plan for when these predictable flooding event occur is an insult to these people. During a recent flood, having alerted the council to what was happening, I stood with local residents and waited on the response crew to arrive. As usual, the council staff on the ground were hard-working, brave and efficient, but by the time they were able to respond, the water was already at a dangerously high level. The lack of forethought for for such events (a clear plan, and a source of readily-available sandbags and barriers) leaves not only homes, but people such as the under-appreciated council road crews, at terrible risk.

West Cork Deserves Better!

Video from Rosscarbery 17/10/2023