Coiste na Tuilte
The Flood Committee
Cuireann na tuilte isteach ar an tsráid ó am go h-am.
An ceann is mó i 2015.
The village gets flooded from time to time.
Last big one in 2015.
The Village of Ballingeary developed along the military road (now the R584) between Macroom and Bantry starting in the 1830’s. Local inhabitants moved down to the location of the present day village from the uphill townlands. The military engineers took the easy way out by running their new road in the relatively flat land alongside the river. As a consequence, Ballingeary today finds itself as a “flood plain development”, and is therefore subject to what is known as “nuisance flooding”.
As a consequence of its location, our village is prone to periodic flooding. In the short term flood risk can be reduced by keeping the river channel clear of constriction, but the lack of “fall” between Ballingeary and Inchigeela (A few inches in several miles) means the water drains only slowly out of the system.
The government department responsible for flood alleviation is the Office of public works (OPW) who subcontract river clearance to Cork County Council.
Following the November 2009 floods, the Government directed the Office of Public Works (OPW) to carry out the River Lee Catchment Flood Risk Assessment and Management (CFRAM) Study, resulting in the Catchment Flood Risk Management Plan (CFRMP). Under this plan, based upon cost-benefit considerations, the preferred means of flood protection in Ballingeary would be the construction of flood barrier walls and embankments along the Bunsheelin and Lee rivers. This ‘hard engineered’ approach is generally unpopular with villagers due to the perceived loss of visual amenity in a village that depends heavily on its attraction to national and international tourists.
Ballingeary Coiste Forbartha in collaboration with two Irish universities and one UK University proposed a novel (for Ireland) solution “Natural Flood Management” under a European Innovation project. There was widespread support for the project.
Unfortunately we failed to get final funding for the Ballingeary Pilot Project, but the good news is that OPW is now actively researching Natural Flood Management Solution for Ireland.