Fianna Fáil General Election candidate for Cork South West Cllr Margaret Murphy O’Mahony is to seek an emergency meeting with Minister for the OPW Simon Harris and Minister for Environment Alan Kelly following severe flooding in Bandon this weekend.

Cllr Murphy O’Mahony pointed out that the flooding would not have occurred if the Bandon Main Drainage and Flood Relief Schemes had been completed as planned.

“This weekend Bandon has experienced some of the worst flooding since 2009. The entire community is absolutely shattered at this stage and are at a loss as to why vital flood relief and drainage schemes have not been completed to date. Flooding has also occurred in Skibbereen and the community there are also at a loss as to why their flood relief scheme remains in limbo,” said Cllr Murphy O’Mahony.

“There is €9.6m worth of funding allocated for the Bandon Flood Relief Scheme. However we are still waiting for this scheme to get off the ground. We have three Government TD’s here in Cork South West but they have done little to advance the vital schemes which would help prevent flooding in Bandon.

“In the immediate aftermath of the flooding we need to see Cork County Council do everything in its power to assist in the clean-up of damaged homes and businesses in the town. The Government must also ensure the Taskforce on Emergency Planning continues to meet in the coming days to assess further flood risk and provide the necessary support to help people get back on their feet.

“However the Government is ultimately going to have to explain why it allowed Bandon to flood again as a result of its failure to progress the Flood and Drainage Relief Schemes. The same question arises in the case of Skibbereen. The funding for these schemes has been in place years yet towns like Bandon remains defenceless when it comes to flooding.

“We are still waiting for the Government to progress these vital schemes. The delay is simply inexcusable and is leading to constant hardship for the people of Bandon.

“I will be seeking an emergency meeting with Minister for OPW Simon Harris and Minister for Environment Alan Kelly to stress the importance of getting these flood and drainage schemes implemented without any further delay. I will also be asking them to provide funding to help the Bandon community overcome this latest flooding.

“Many of the affected people no longer have flood insurance following the failure to progress the flood defence schemes. These people need as much help as they can get,” said Cllr Murphy O’Mahony.