North Tipperary County Council outdoor staff have been praised by Newport electoral area councillors for their work over the past few weeks in dealing with fallout from the stormy weather.
Cllr John “Rocky” McGrath said their work was “nearly an act of bravery”, and said they were doing a “fantastic job under pressure”.
Cllr Phyll Bugler praised them for carrying out work in “milling rain”, while Cllr Mattie Ryan “Coole” said “we should appreciate that they are doing”.
Cllr Jonathan Meaney said the staff had been out almost on a constant basis for the past number of months. Cllr John Carroll praised them for their work on the Kilmastulla River.
Meanwhile, area manager Marcus O’Connor revealed that the council would have around E500,000 to repair storm damage throughout the county after he was given a litany of flooded roads and other damage by councillors.
Among the areas raised were Shower Cross in Newport; the Kilmalstulla River; Ballintoher, Boher, and Quarry Lane and Dispensary Lane in Ballina.
Cllr Carroll said he had been told that to solve problems at Ballintoher, the road may need to be raised, but warned that this could just lead to land being flooded. There would also be a need for protective barriers.
He was told by engineer Michael Hayes that the council had made a submission to the Department of the Environment for storm damage, but had not heard anything back. However, Mr O’Coonor said that it was most likely the bulk of the emergency fund would go to places such as those badly hit in Clare .
Cllr Carroll described some of the area’s roads as “frightening” and warned many could “crumble especially if we get frost and ice”.
“The Boher road seems to be breaking up. It was only done in October or November when around E80,000 was spent on it,” he pointed out.
He was backed by Cllr Bugler, who said it was a “very important road” and there were 100 children attending the local school.
Senior engineer Michael F Hayes agreed with councillors that works should be carried out earlier in the year as “after August you are into difficulty”.He was told by Cllr Carroll that the late work “undermines the work we are trying to do”.
Meanwhile, Cllr McGrath criticised some politicians who seek to take the credit for work being carried out by local councillors. He called for clarity on roads projects in the Newport area following to a number of calls from “confused residents”. I have been working on roads, then it goes to the Department but the news is delivered by the postman after we have made the representations.”