TEMPORARY flood defences erected by the owners of Blackrocks Nursing Home, Foxford, have been removed by Mayo County Council on the grounds they were ‘unsightly’ and posed a traffic hazard.
Forty-eight residents were moved from the home in early December as floodwaters rose in the adjacent River Moy but returned to their accommodation later in the month when the flood threat had eased.
Last week, the owner of the nursing home, Michael Maloney, who was backed up in his stance by local politicians Dara Calleary TD and Councillor Neil Cruise, strongly objected when council staff began removing the temporary flood barriers.
All of what the council describes as ‘mounds’ were finally removed yesterday (Monday).
Joe Loftus, director of services with the council, said the mounds were creating a traffic hazard in the ‘promenade’ area at the Admiral Browne monument where the council has spent hundreds of thousands of euro.
"These mounds are no longer necessary as flood defence measures and pose a safety hazard to pedestrians because of pools of water accumulating on the public road," Mr. Loftus stated.
Asked about fears of further flooding in the coming weeks and months, Mr. Loftus said the council had available a ‘robust’ flood defence system for the local river (involving sandbags) which could be deployed within an hour if necessary.
In the longer term, Mr. Loftus explained, the council was asking the OPW to implement one of their ‘minor works scheme’ at the promenade in Foxford to prevent any further flooding.