Client: Office of Public Works [OPW]

Location: Clonakilty, Co. Cork

Project Value: €20m

Description: Contract to protect the town of Clonakilty from fluvial flooding by the Ballyhalwick River, the River Feagle, the Cappeen Stream and the Garage Stream, along with tidal flooding from Clonakilty Bay.

Ward & Burke was appointed as Main Contractor and PSCS to this project.

The River Feagle and Clonakilty Bay were identified as a Special Protected Area (SPA) and Special Area of Conservation (SAC) and a designated salmonid river. Works comprised of two main elements: a flood storage area, upstream of the town, to protect against fluvial flooding; and new piled/RC flood defence walls through Clonakilty, amidst narrow streets, numerous listed and protected and ‘at risk’ structures with multiple difficult access points.

The river network is designated a salmonoid river and therefore subject to significant constraints. River flow management during the works involved over-pumping, fluming, diversions, etc. Sediment management of diverted flows throughout, was critical. Systems of work were agreed with Inland Fisheries Ireland in advance of construction .

The works were undertaken over an 18-month period. Weather monitoring and flow management was a feature during the construction. In fact, there were 6 major flood events where, heretofore, Clonakilty would have flooded. Construction methods and temporary works procedures adopted over an 18-month construction period delivered on the overall contract intent – i.e., to deliver a ‘flood free’ Clonakilty. Reinstating the river channel post construction was carefully undertaken in conjunction with Inland Fisheries and included many additional features to accommodate fish species.