“This is simply not good enough.” “It’s a disgrace and deeply upsetting for people who have relatives buried there.” “We should be ashamed of ourselves that we allow this to happen here every so often.” These are just some of the comments made over the past few days on the sad sight of graves submerged in recurring floodwater here.
The sight of Kilbanivane Cemetery under flood-water several times again in recent days is deeply upsetting for many people of the locality.
“It’s bad enough for someone to look at it from a neutral point of view – but can you imagine how people who have someone buried in there are feeling when they see this. Never mind the health and safety consequences the flooding is having on the area,” said another woman on Friday afternoon.
There is a two-pronged, highly political movement on at present to have the periodic flooding of areas in and around Castleisland brought to the attention of the highest possible authority.
Danny Healy-Rae spent most of Friday morning with constituents in the areas of Tullig and Townbee as they fretted about the safety of their houses as flood waters inched ever closer to entering.
There were also phone calls put through to local representative, Cllr. Bobby O’Connell but he was in Dublin. In fairness to him, and as coincidence would have it, he had a meeting with Minister of State at the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform, Brian Hayes TD on the very issue that was uppermost on the minds of ‘his people’ back at home at exactly the same time.
However, any works to alleviate and prevent a recurrence the flooding of the area must consider rediscovering the old drainage system which has been abandoned and neglected over recent years.
Abandoned and neglected at our peril. We’ve had our warning now and escaped with only a few scratches. Inaction is an option that shouldn’t be allowed near consideration.
You don’t need a degree in civil engineering to understand that a build-up of water needs a channel and a direction in which to flow. The build-up of flood-water in the Kilbanivane area is a direct result of recklessness in the approach of the local authority to the problems there over the years.
As far back as 20 years ago I remember a just dug grave having to be pumped of water as the remains were being brought in the front gate.
The very same procedure had to be followed only last week.
A man who knew all about flooding told me on one such previous occasion that the bed of the dried-up stream cutting down through Minnie Hughes’s Field – between the Desmonds GAA Club grounds and St. John’s Park – is the natural drainage route for all the problems at Kilbanivane and on the College Road in general.
For the people who naturally worry about these things it’s about time we got to understand how our rivers weave and work their way around our neighbourhood. And maybe then we’ll understand how the impact of our neglect is coming right back at us. We’ll keep you ‘Posted’