Breaking: Huge anger as OPW refuses to meet councillors on Templemore Flood Relief Scheme

Noel Dundon

Reporter:

Noel Dundon

Email:

nd@tipperarystar.ie

Templemore

Minister Sean Canney pictured at the announcement of the €10.2 million Flood Relief Scheme earlier this year.

Councillors in the Templemore Thurles Municipal District are seething with anger after the OPW reneged on a commitment to meet them and discuss serious concerns about the multi-million Euro Templemore Flood Relief Scheme.

The Office of Public Works has reneged on a commitment to meet members of the Templemore Thurles Municipal District Council to further discuss the Templemore Flood Relief Scheme, thereby causing huge anger amongst members.

The OPW had attended a meeting a month ago and was heavily criticised for the lack of answers to questions and information which was requested by the members. Indeed, Councillor Michael Smith labelled the meeting 'a farce' and was highly critical of the OPW representative whom he said had no command whatsoever over his brief.

Arising out of that 'farce' the OPW representative agreed to return two weeks later with answers to the questions asked and to allow for further discussion, but that deadline passed by without this happening. And, when pressed by Cllr David Doran for a date for the meeting, the MDC has now been informed that it will not be happening - they have pledged to answer the questions asked in written format, but will not engage in discussions.

Cllr David Doran pictured with Minister Canney and Deputy Michael Lowry in Templmore.

Cllr Doran told The Tipperary Star, "This is an absolute disgrace. We have real genuine concerns about this scheme and the OPW will not come to meet us and address those concerns. This is a multi-million Euro project and from what I can see, it is a shambles. Tax payers money is being spent on something that we don't have the specifications for. I wonder what they are afraid of and why they won't come to meet us. Yes their representative got a fair dressing down at the last meeting because he had no answers and didn't seem to know what we were asking in many instances. It was a shambles and now they won't even come to meet us. This needs to be highlighted and the public needs to know what is going on here," Cllr Doran said. 

Word came to the councillors through the MDC that the OPW was "not in a position at this time to attend a second meeting with the Council in regard to Templemore Flood Relief Scheme. The OPW has advised that they will issue a written response to the items raised by the members in due course which will be circulated on receipt of same."

Councillors had many questions surrounding land acquisitions; the closure of drains and channels; the opening of other channels; the filling in of sections of The Mall; and many more. The majority of those questions remained unanswered at the first meeting, but the OPW says that they will address those questions in written format rather than through discussion.