The old adage that one should never let the truth get in the way of a good story certainly had its hour in the sun this week. Usually associated with newspapers, the malaise has now attached itself to radio stations and on-line publications.
A hole in the ground is simply not enough of a headline grabber for many media outlets so the Cahereen Heights water tank cover collapse had to have the mistique of a ‘Sink-Hole’ attached to it.
Pat Kenny even had an expert on such phenomena on Monday morning to explain how Sink-Holes come about.
Maybe it’s because Castleisland is built on caves that many of these people jumped or fell to conclusions. That it was indeed a case of the ground swallowing up a part of the green area of an estate full of young families and children. And the notion that the children were seen kicking
football on that very spot the previous evening – as one visitor to the site said on Saturday afternoon – only heightened the sense of danger and of the great escape.
However, the ‘Castleisland Story’ did make it a strange double from Kerry for the national media on Saturday evening and they lumped it and the horizontal cross on Carrauntoohil together.
The collapse of the green at Cahereen Heights was the direct result of a load-bearing slab of concrete not being able to bear the load and it gave way after a few day’s rain increased the load weighing on it. Nothing more mysterious than that.
The collapse has turned political heads and concentrated minds on the list of inadequacies on the estate. It has also made it an imperative that immediate action is taken to resolve the sewage problems in the area.
It became very obvious early on Saturday morning that all was not well with the ground water tank. The smell that hung on the air there all day long left no-one in any doubt that the surface water tanks were being infiltrated by sewage.
Local representative, Cllr. Bobby O’Connell nailed his colours firmly on Monday morning’s Morning Ireland when he pointed a finger at the workmanship on the estate. He has called on
Liberty Insurance to release the €1.25m bond so that work on the estate’s list of ailments could begin.
Cllr. Danny Healy Rae rang on Tuesday to say that he was taking the concerns of the Cahereen Heights residents to the highest levels of Kerry County Council to reach a resolution of their problems.
“I know that Bobby O’Connell – in fairness to him has called on them too – but I’m asking them now to honour that bond and let the work get under way for the sake of the people on the estate. It’s not good enough in this day and age to have that kind of carry-on there in front of young families and they trying to bring up children there. They have enough to be thinking about without worrying about the cost of pumping stations and the rest. I’m going to ask Kerry County Council to see if there is any way of reimbursing the residents for the massive costs they have incurred in the running and maintenance of the estate to date,” said Cllr. Healy Rae.
Cllr. John Joe Culloty also sent messages of support to the residents and said he would do what he could
and would support any motion to further the cause of the residents of the estate. While the media attention has now taken its focus elsewhere – as it has to – for the residents and their political allies the fight for their dues goes on.
However, as Cllr. O’Connell said – at the side of the ‘sudden dip’ on Saturday: “This will give the residents’ case a new impetus and the insurace company will surely to God act on it now.”
Cllr. O’Connell has just forwarded the text below from area manager and Castleisland resident, John Breen. In the text, Mr. Breen updates the local authority on the latest in the negotiations with Liberty Insurance and on the latest developments on the Cahereen Heights site itself.
“To Cathaoirleach and each member of Killarney Municipal District: Re: Update on Cahereens Heights. As municipal district manager I wish to update each of you regarding the evolving situation at Cahereens Heights Castleisland. The present position is as follows. The source of the problem is the collapse of the roof of a storm water attenuation tank. There are two other similar tanks in the general area and in the interest of safety we have fenced these off to public access. A meeting took place on site today attended by David Doyle MD engineer and engineers on behalf of Liberty Insurance to discuss and agree resolutions. Liberty are to revert immediately with proposals. I will keep you updated on this matter in the coming days.” John Breen, Killarney MD manager.