Do you think that tight marking in the Kerry context is all confined to our ever flourishing football culture? I did for a long while but I get constant reminders that those in the political field are no slouches when it comes to shadowing their opponents under a dropping ball.
Within minutes of each other yesterday, Cllr. Bobby O’Connell and Michael Healy Rae, TD were on to The Maine Valley Post with the news that funding, in the region of €144,000, for essential flood relief works
had been allocated to the Castleisland area.
This is good news indeed for those in the path of this year’s flooding. There is no doubt that what happened earlier this year was distressing and frightening for many householders and landowners.
There was also the frightfully painful spectacle of people standing beside the submerged graves of loved ones in Kilbanivane and in one case having to watch a grave being bailed out as the remains were being brought in the gate of the cemetery.
However, on a county-wide scale it didn’t leave the trail of destruction here that it did in several other locations throughout Kerry and Munster. That doesn’t say that a repeat of the type of weather which
sparked the flooding on that scale wouldn’t tip the balance with an extra few millimetres of rain on an occasion any time soon. We’ve seen that our situation here has the potential for out and out devastation.
Cllr. O’Connell got the news from his Fine Gael party colleague, Brendan Griffin,TD by way of an email:
“Minister of State, Simon Harris T.D. has
asked me to inform you that the Office of Public Works has given conditional approval to a funding allocation to Kerry County Council under the Minor Flood Mitigation Works and Coastal Protection Scheme.
The work to be carried out here will include: Raising of retaining wall on the Gleansharoon River diversion in the Crag area; A culvert replacement at Tullig and a storm water drainage pipe at Kilbannivane and associated works to the cost of €144,000.”
Michael Healy Rae TD heard of the announcement of the allocation in Dáil Éireann yesterday. However, he claimed that both he and his brother, Cllr. Danny Healy Rae were up to their waists in efforts to get the alleviation funding through before the winter and any further threat of a repeat. “In fact ” he’d added: “Danny raised the matter through a notice of motion at Friday’s meeting of Kerry County Council on Friday.”
And here is the motion by: Cllr. D Healy Rae:
“That we the members ask Kerry County Council & OPW to clean out the river at Cragg to prevent the diversion of the Gleansharoon River going into the caves flooding Kilbannivane and all the areas of town including Tullig.”
In fairness also to the now Mayor of Killarney, Cllr. John Joe Culloty, he also discovered and investigated a major blockage in a culvert under the road at Tullig and right beside the Walsh Farm Machinery Plant which had been flooded on a couple of occasions in the recent and not so recent past from the same source.
Cllr. Bobby O’Connell did get a commitment for a substantial programme of work from his party colleague, Brian Hayes, TD who was appointed by the government to look at the hardship caused on a nationwide basis last winter. Cllr. O’Connell persuaded him to visit Castleisland and meet the people on the front-line at the time.
When the money has been allocated and the work done and the low-lying fields of Kilbannivane and Tullig are dry, in the test of previously proven dangerous situations, it’s then our politicians will be well entitled to take a bow.
It’s then you’ll see the tight marking if you didn’t see it by reading between the lines here.