Cllr Michael Collins has called on Minister of State Patrick O’Donovan to deliver on funding for the riverbank
FIANNA Fail councillor Michael Collins has called on Minister of State, Patrick O’Donovan to “deliver the goods” and secure the €500,000 needed to shore up a section of the riverbank in the town of Abbeyfeale.
Over a month ago, a huge section of the backyard terrace of a house on New Street, owned by Eamon and Marie Roche, was ripped away by the river.
Local councillors called on Limerick City and County Council to carry out emergency works to protect the Roches’ home and consultant engineers were appointed by the council to carry out a survey. That survey, as reported in last week’s Limerick Leader, concluded that the foundations of the house were sound.
However, according to Cllr Collins, the consultants also concluded that that there was no quick solution and that temporary remedial action to protect the house would not work. Rather, he said, a full-scale remedial job would have to be done which would cost over €500,000.
The consultants report and costings have now gone to the OPW, he added, and their response is now being awaited.
But he continued: “The council doesn’t have the funds.” And he has called on Minister O’Donovan to step in on the issue.
“Minister O’Donovan was briefed on the issue. He is the most senior Oireachtas member and he is the man who will have to deliver the money.”
Cllr Liam Galvin FG has pointed out that four properties at the rear of New Street are affected and full-scale remedial works need to be done to shore up the entire river-bank to protect these properties.
“The government has to pony up,” he said. “It needs to be done sooner rather than later.”
The situation had gotten a lot worse over the past week, Cllr Galvin said. “This is escalating to a serious level.”
Meanwhile, the Roches are feeling the strain. And they are now seriously worried about the time-frame involved in securing funding to carry out the full-scale remedial works.
“It is going to take too long,” Ms Roche said this week. “Our health is suffering. We are too old for this, to be put through this mill.”
Having been advised to leave the house for safety, they have now returned. But Ms Roche said, living in rented accommodation provided by the council was not the solution.