Fermoy Flood Defence Scheme

Fermoy Flooding

The town of Fermoy, County Cork has a long history of flooding from the River Blackwater, which flows through the town, with major events occurring approximately 15 times in the last 30 years.  In 2002 the Office of Public Works commissioned a consortium consisting of DHV, Babtie Group, T.J. O'Connor & Associates and PM Group to assess flood risk in the town of Fermoy and to develop a flood alleviation scheme. 

An Engineering Report was completed in late 2003, which outlined a preferred solution to the flooding problems in Fermoy. The proposals mainly involved the construction of embankments, permanent walls, millrace gates and extensive use of demountable flood barriers, all along both banks of the River. 

The Scheme was placed on Public Exhibition in 2005 and was subsequently brought through detailed design in two phases. The first phase, Fermoy North, allowed construction works to commence in 2009, which were completed in 2011.

The second phase involved works on the south side of the river and works commenced in April, 2012 and were substantially completed in May, 2015.

OPW developed a Flood Early Warning System (FEWS), which is used for both Fermoy and Mallow, with the system itself being operated by Cork County Council staff in Mallow. Upon receipt of a flood warning, Local Authority staff erect the substantial demountable defences on the completed scheme on the north side.

As the Fermoy South Flood Relief Scheme neared completion, arrangements were put in place to erect the demountable defences over the winter months in case a flood warning was received from the Flood Warning System. As this service is critical to the town, a contractor has been put in place to oversee the erection of these defences on an ongoing basis.

Since the completion of the Scheme the demountable system has been called into action on a number of occasions. Refinement of the FEWS system is ongoing in order to bring greater certainty on predicted flood levels in order to avoid unnecessary erections.

The costs involved for the use of the system are borne by OPW. 

Fermoy North Embankment and Wall

 Part view of completed embankment and wall on Fermoy North

Design/Construction Teams

Design Team:
    • TJ O'Connor/DHV
Construction Team on Fermoy North:
    • Carillion
Construction Team on Fermoy South:
    • Lagan Construction