Residents ‘Making War’ over Flooding on The Old Road

Debris at Cllr. Charlie Farrelly’s feet indicate the levels to which the flood reached on Sunday on The Old Road at Dulague. Local men with hip waders failed to reach the deepest point on Sunday while searching for a number plate of a vehicle. ©Photograph: John Reidy
Signs On: Signs at Ballinaboul warning of the impassable road conditions further west in Dulague this morning. ©Photograph: John Reidy

Closed roads and Castleisland are beginning to sound suspiciously synonymous in recent times for a variety of reasons but with water as a common denominator.

College Road’s water pipe replacement – the most recent example was, at least, always working towards a conclusion that was inevitable and predictable.

Up in Arms on The Old Road

Now the misfortune of road closure has moved west across country to Dulague and, according to Cllr. Charlie Farrelly, the people of The Old Road are up in arms.

In fact, Cllr. Farrelly, not a man to mince his own or the words of others, said in a phone call last night that the people there are making f—ing war over the situation they now find themselves in.

Water Flow Impeded 

Locals are blaming land reclamation and associated work as an impediment to the run-off of traditional rights-of -way for the water which is now flooding their access road on an increasingly regular basis.

They’re citing the closing of a natural sump or soak-away in a field beside the road and elimination of drains which took the water off areas like Dulague North and eventually down to the River Maine as the cause. 

A Winter Predicament

“It’s bad enough to be cut off for a couple of days at a time and knowing that the flood water will eventually clear – but the weather we’re getting and no promise of anything better coming – is likely to close this road again and again over the winter months. And this is the fourth time it’s been closed over the past few weeks, ” said Cllr. Farrelly.

Problem Well Flagged

“This problem has been well flagged over the past few months and Kerry County Council has had both time and warning to have something done about it.

“The people here are at their wits end and they’re angry that the problem has come to this. There’s four feet of water at one point in the depth of that flood and apart from the inconvenience it causes – there’s surely also a health and safety aspect to it,” said Cllr. Farrelly.