Fianna Fáil TD for Cork South West Margaret Murphy O’Mahony says she is deeply concerned after it emerged that works on Bandon’s flood relief scheme have stalled due to a dispute between contractor Wills Brothers and the OPW.

Deputy Murphy O’Mahony has called on Minister of State for the OPW Sean Canney to make a statement on the issue and to provide a reassurance that the scheme will be completed as scheduled.

Deputy Murphy O’Mahony said, “The news that works on the flood defence scheme have ground to a halt has come as a shock to the people of Bandon. The whole community is in despair as there is a real fear that the latest dispute between the contractor and the OPW could delay the scheme for another year or more. This simply cannot be allowed to happen as people in the town are currently unable to get flood insurance and the possibility of further flooding events remains high unless the defence works are completed.

“What’s most disappointing about this latest development is the fact that we have been here before. Almost two years of work were lost on the flood defence scheme a number of years back over a similar dispute. People presumed that a new dispute would not emerge as the OPW should have learnt from the issues raised during the first dispute. Unfortunately it seems no foresight was given to the need to prevent a new dispute from emerging and now we are left in a situation where works on the scheme have been left in limbo. It’s simply astonishing and people deserve answers as to how this situation has arisen.

“Minister of State for the OPW Sean Canney can’t remain silent on this issue any longer. He needs to make a statement outlining what actions he is taking to resolve the current difficulties facing the project. The people of Bandon need to be given a firm assurance that every effort is being made to resolve this dispute and get the works back on track. Further delays to the scheme simply cannot be tolerated,” said Deputy Murphy O’Mahony.