Red clad men and women of Cork gathered together on North Mall to highlight the importance of preserving the site today. People were also holding red balloons as a symbol of their love for the river. This outing/protest has been set up by the “Save our City” campaign.
What do the Protesters say?
Friederike Foley is concerned about the government’s flood defense: “I think they did not give any information to the neighborhood (people who live along the river). We would like to be consulted for any kind of changes. We are in favor of having flood defense, but it should be visually attractive.”
A concerned gentleman who has been involved in most protests against flood walls said:” I’ve only heard about this in January (around the time they unveiled the plan) and as soon as I saw it I said what’s going on? It’s a bit extreme. There was another meeting last week in which the architects were saying “these are brutal solutions.” I look at it and I say to myself what are we doing? Are we using concrete to solve this problem? Is it Soviet era Russia or something, using concrete to solve all the problems?”
What do Architects say?
Adam Darcy and Gareth O’Callaghan were two preservation architects who had come to this outing/protest, with their family.
Like her husband, Mrs.O’Calaghan was very concerned about the issue:” It was very important for me to come here today, because I live in the city and I enjoy the river. It’s a resource for all of us to share and I’m concerned that present proposals haven’t fully considered the visual and recreational impact on all users of the city,” said Mrs. O’Callaghan.
Mr. O’Callaghan himself believes that there are another ways of protecting the city against flooding. “I think they could stabilize the existing walls.” Listening carefully, Adam Darcy adds to his colleague’s words:” I think maintaining these walls and droughting them would really help.”
These gentlemen accompanied other protesters on a walk along the river, as the old Lee awaited her fate.
What does the Plan Consist of?
On the Office of Public Work (OPW) website that has been set up ‘to inform and update the public’ on the progress of the work, it says the plan will consist of:
- Flood defenses along the River Lee downstream of Inniscarra dam and through Cork city
- Changes to the operating procedures for the Carrigadrohid and Inniscarra reservoirs for the purposes of flood risk management, as may be facilitated by the above flood defenses
- A flood forecasting system to help guide decision-making on dam discharges and, if necessary, the erection of temporary/demountable defenses downstream and in Cork city.
The “Save our City” campaign organizers have also listed their concerns about the above plan on their website.
The City Council had started this plan in 2013, after many calamitous floods, created problems in Cork City.