Close-knit community marks Dodder flooding

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THE RESIDENTS of Dodder View Cottages and the surrounding area of Ballsbridge brought new meaning to the term close-knit community over the weekend.

Local residents worked with artist Martina O’Brien to create a knitted replica flood wall, measuring 45ft long by 8ft wide.

Undeterred by strange looks from patrons in Paddy Cullen’s pub, Ballsbridge, 20 knitters from the locality met over six months to make the piece.

The design is based on the flood velocity maps produced for the draft Dodder flood risk assessment and management study.

The knitted wall was created to highlight local residential support for Dublin City Council’s proposals to improve flood defences in their area.

This time last year, flooding forced 80 residents out of their homes due to water damage and several people have not returned.

O’Brien, the local artist behind the concept, said they wanted to attract attention to their cause by making something rather than simply protesting.

“The knitted piece represents our vulnerability as we can’t get insurance against flood damage. This time last year, I lost absolutely everything in the flood. You think a bit of water can’t do much damage, but it’s the aftermath.”

Seosaimhín Ní Eheaglaoich, one of the Dodder View Cottage residents, said knitting the wall brought the community closer together.

“This knitted flood wall is a symbol of community and neighbourliness. Flooding is a problem everywhere in Ireland, we are not unique. We hope it raises awareness for other people in these areas,” she said.

“There may be objections to the flood wall as some say it blocks the view of the river. But if you see the river in your sitting room, halfway up the stairs, then it’s a different story.

“We are worried that it might be delayed further and we are left in the same situation as last year. Every tragedy is a nine-day wonder and people move on but for us, it’s a living nightmare.”

Lord Mayor Naoise Ó’Muirí, local Fine Gael TDs Lucinda Creighton and Eoghan Murphy, Green Party leader Eamon Ryan and Labour TD Kevin Humphreys, who were also in attendance, praised the display of community spirit by the residents.

“Although you can never eliminate the possibility of flooding, these flood defences would make flooding less likely in Dodder View Cottages and the surrounding area,” said Mr Ó Muirí.

“It is very encouraging to see local residents do something so imaginative to support the council’s proposals to improve the area’s flood defences.”

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