Wicklow Sinn Féin councillor John Brady described the news that the main contractors on the river Dargle flood protection scheme have moved off the site, leaving behind half built flood defences as a total mess. The councillor who has been fighting alongside local residents for flood protection works to be carried out on the Dargle after the Little Bray area was destroyed by Hurricane Charlie in 1986.
Councillor Brady said "Over the last couple of months the work on the €28 million Dargle flood relief project has effectively ground to a standstill. A number of key staff on the project have either been let go or redeployed to other SIAC projects, Sub contractors on the project have not been paid for work that they have done. Yesterday there was a major development when the contractors SIAC moved on to the site at first light and began removing everything including office equipment, plant machinery and even the site compound that was located in the Peoples Park".
Cllr Brady continued “The project has turned into a complete and utter mess. We have a half built flood protection scheme left behind and residents and i are completely in the dark as to what is going to happen next and what the time frame will be. Sub contractors who had been on site working haven't been paid and are also looking for answers. The entire Dargle area is a mess and the Peoples Park resembles a derelict building site as opposed to a public amenity".
Cllr Brady went onto say “I have tried to raise the serious concerns that the community of Little Bray and I have with the council, unfortunately those concerns have hit a brick wall. The OPW have said that they are committed to completing the Dargle scheme, however the entire scheme has been set back considerably and i have fears that it may impact on plans to develop the new schools on the Old Bray Golf club for Coláiste Ráithín and Ravenswell. It had been planned to have the schools completed by 2016".
Cllr Brady concluded “This entire saga has been poorly handled by the council and they have failed dismally to keep residents or elected public representatives informed of what exactly is happening. Sending the media and councillors the same holding statement is totally disrespective to the elected members of the council and no way to do business. The Dargle flood protection scheme is a critical project for Little Bray and councillors should be kept informed at all stages and that includes when things aren't going according to plan. I have asked for an emergency meeting of the council to be held, unfortunately that seems to have fallen on deaf ears. Answers are needed for the residents, councillors and also the sub contractors who are owed a considerable amount of money".