The question has been raised several times since the flood relief scheme was completed in Fermoy – “What would happen should the personnel involved in the erection of the flood barriers not be available for one reason or another?”

For instance, what would happen if those contracted for the job went on strike? What would happen if a flood was imminent during a bad bout of flu or other sickness and the people involved were out of action?

“Unlikely”, I hear you say, but possible all the same.

Leaving nothing to chance in this regard and to cover all eventualities, the council in conjunction with the NRA, is calling together a group of volunteers who will be trained in the art of erecting the barriers.

While there is no ‘pay’ as such for the work, those who are prepared to become part of the group to be known as ‘BarER3’ and are prepared to sign up to a six year contract will be given an once-off payment of €850 once they have successfully completed the one-day course.

Furthermore, on the off chance that you are called into action, expenses will apply.

Twenty ‘reserves’ are needed in all and the course on the erection of the barriers will be held on this Saturday, April 1 at Ashe Quay from 11am. Males only should apply as the erection can be quite hard. Also the work is not suited to a citóg (left-handed person) as the barriers are erected from the right hand side.

The course is expected to run until approximately 4.30pm. Registration and vetting will take place beforehand at 9.30am in The Grand Hotel where tea and scones will be served (lunch will also be provided).

Only those between the ages of 18 and 39 will be considered and applicants must never have experienced hernia or prostate problems, must not be allergic to aluminium and, because of the lifting nature of the work, must not be suffering from ongoing flatulence problems.

Applicants must possess a mobile phone, be on the 086 network and be fluent in English.

While those undertaking the course will be provided with gloves, hard hat and a high viz jacket, you are asked to bring a pair of light gloves (rubber or clean gardening gloves are best) and sunglasses because, should it be sunny, the glare from the aluminium sections can be most uncomfortable.

Motorists are asked to stay out of the Ashe Quay area between the hours of 10am and 4.30pm on Saturday while training is ongoing.

For more details, contact 089-223229.