Cork County Council held a meeting on Thursday, October 19 with Inland Fisheries Ireland regarding the construction of the fish bypass channel, incorporating the necessary repairs to the weir on the river Blackwater and to discuss how the funding for the project can be secured.

According to the council, the preparation of the planning application will be a lengthy process and will include the appointment of consultants who will collate environmental data and consult with a broad range of stakeholders.

The commencement and completion works is dependent on the council securing the funding.

An internal meeting was held between the Municipal District Operations and Rural Development Directorate and the Water Services Directorate.

Arising from the meeting it was agreed that the Water Services Directorate are best placed to advance the overall project given their expertise in this area and the county engineer has agreed to take over and manage the project once funding has been secured.

Fermoy Municipal District committee chairman Cllr Frank O’Flynn, welcomed the move by Cork County Council but said he was disappointed the process was taking so long.

“I am disappointed that repairs weren't carried out in the autumn. What is very important now is that we have planning in place for when funding is secured. I proposed to the committee that an immediate meeting should be held with the Department of the Environment and with Inland Fisheries to ensure the project goes ahead as soon as possible. We also need to apply for European funding for the project as it’s vital it goes ahead.”