Angry, bitter exchanges at Municipal District over Galberstown flooding

Cllrs David Doran and Micheal Lowry clash at Municipal District meeting over Galberstown flooding issue.

Cllrs David Doran and Micheal Lowry clash at Municipal District meeting over Galberstown flooding issue.

A major war of words and continued angry exchanges erupted at a meeting of Thurles Municipal District this week after Councillor David Doran tabled a Notice of Motion in relation to carrying out drainage works at Galberstown, Holycross - a motion which irked members when he suggested that nothing was being done to solve the problem.

Cllr Doran’s motion pleaded for action to be taken to help with the flooding problem which occurs regularly and resulted in a number of homes being cut off earlier this year. Were there to be an emergency in one of the homes, there would have been a major problem, Cllr Doran suggested and he called for appropriate drainage works to be carried out.

District Engineer Mr Ruairi Boland informed Cllr Doran that a survey had been conducted on the location, but such is the geography of the area that a special allocation of funding would be necessary to do the work, which would require boring through rock at 8ft deep for approximately 300metres, just to get one section of the work done. It would be enormously expensive and would be in the realms of a regional drainage scheme, he said.

Cllr Micheal Lowry took issue with Cllr Doran’s suggestion that nothing was being done about the matter and outlined how a number of proposals had been teased out in conjunction with the residents, elected members and the council. The problem is a very difficult one, he said, and he did not like the inference that nothing was happening. “Just because it is not being raised here all the time doesn’t mean that there is nothing happening,” he said.

Cllr Doran responded angrily saying that he had a right to table a motion and would not be silenced on the issue. Not all residents were au fait with what was happening, he said, and he challenged Cllr Lowry that he would ‘sort him out’ if he wanted.

“I’ve been at council meetings for a long time now and I have never been threatened by another councillor in that manner,” Cllr Lowry replied as tempers became frayed and voices were raised.

“You’ve been on the council for years, why didn’t you do something about it up to now,” Cllr Doran retorted as the

Acting Chairman, Cllr Jackie Cahill tried repeatedly to restore calm. The Chairman’s appeals fell of deaf ears for some minutes, until he finally managed to bring order to proceedings.

The row shattered the atmosphere of what had been a very productive meeting up to that point.