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Graball Residents Yet Again Calling For Help

Graball, Crosshaven has what have been described by residents as “third world roads and infrastructure”, following years of inaction and neglect by Cork County Council and Irish Water.

Writes Jack White.

For decades now, the main road (and smaller roads) in the area has been left fall into various states of disrepair, causing flooding, pot-holes, damage to cars, danger for pedestrians and a whole host of other issues.

Catherine Mahon & local Graball residents, showing how flooded the Graball Road, Crosshaven becomes during rainfall. Photo: Siobhán Russell

Meanwhile, the chronic lack of adequate water and sewerage infrastructure has impacted the quality of life for residents.

Up until recent times, little or no action had been taken by TD’s or councillors for the best part of 3 decades. However, local councillors Aidan Lombard and Audrey Buckley, have, over the last few years, been doing their best to undo some of that inaction by their predecessors.

Trying to tie in a co-ordinated response from Irish Water, Cork County Council and other bodies (all while dealing with a wide array of local complications such as land ownership) is proving a difficult task for residents and the two councillors alike.

Last week, following more severe flooding, The Carrigdhoun met residents on the main road to photograph the scene as one local was able to sit in a kayak on a flood in the middle of the road.

Speaking on the issue, Cllr Lombard said: “The situation in Graball is appalling. When I started raising the issue four years ago the then Kinsale Office was reluctant to spend substantial money on the road until the Water and waste water was dealt with. This seemed a practical approach at the time but clearly four years on there should have been a substantial spend on road surfacing and drainage. Everything has taken forever and it’s frustrating for residents to see no progress on the ground. The report and survey is done now and funding is applied for. I have today asked the area engineer, county engineer and the director of roads to intervene will temporary funding so that the surface water issue and road condition can be dealt while we wait for the scheme to start.”

He continued:

“Cork County Council engaged consultants to carry out a feasibility report into the possibility of developing a sewerage scheme to link into the existing Irish Water network . The report was completed in June 2020, identifies two phases for a proposed scheme:

  1. Gravity Sewer to provide wastewater collection from up to 33 dwellings at the western end of Graball closest to Ardcross Estate.

  2. A collector sewer, pump station and rising main to provide wastewater collection from a possible further 77 dwellings to the east.”

“In area 1 to facilitate the surface water and gravity sewer, funding has been sought from the Social Sustainablity Program. This is what would deliver results in the short term and would mean they could do sewer, storm and surfacing in this section. I have asked when we find out about the funding decision but I don’t have a reply yet.

In area 2 the proposal is being collated and submitted for inclusion for the next cycle 2022 – 2024 of the Rural water program.”

“It is horrendous how long everything takes and while the funding applications progress I have asked for short term solutions to be found to both the flooding and road condition”, concluded Cllr Lombard.

Also commenting on the issue, Cllr Audrey Buckley said: Graball Bay has been ‘Lost’ for many years. There has been no proper plan in place for the area, planning has been limited in the area because of lack of infrastructure and road structure.

Since I have been elected to Cork County Council, I have been corresponding with the area Water Services engineer and a local Graball residences group.

As a local resident who walks the area frequently, it upsets me to see the state of the road and worse that the residents have been looking for this to be resolved for many years. It has been going on so long, I think people were accepting of the fact that if you used the area to be prepared when walking or driving, especially on a wet day.

As recently as last week I received a response back from the engineer regarding Phase 1 of the project. Cork County Council have sent a formal proposal to Irish Water for approval to tie into their network.

I am waiting further discussions with Cork County Council on how the works will be proceeding and when can we expect a start date.”

*Cork County Council were invited to comment on the issue but as yet have not provided a quote.

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