Sinn Fein Leader Gerry Adams TD has called for a government-funded financial aid scheme for flood victims unable to get insurance cover because of where they live.
Mr Adams also asked the government to outline its long term strategic plan to deal way with the flood risk that the state now faces.
Speaking in the Dáil today Gerry Adams said:
“For Minister Brian Hayes to dismiss the plight of communities at risk from flooding in the dismissive way he did yesterday, on cost grounds, is not good enough.
“Many of the families in areas of flood risk have lived there for generations. Some have already been affected by flooding on multiple occasions.
“We are talking in the main here about ordinary working class communities or small businesses with no major resources of their own. They have watched as their property and belongings are destroyed. They have to replace everything from scratch.
“It is not their fault that insurance companies will not provide them with cover. It is the duty of the State to protect its citizens no matter where they live. There is always lots of money for consultants, bankers and politicians but not enough for citizens in need.”
Mr Adams called on the Taoiseach to commit to a specific government-funded financial aid scheme for those who cannot get insurance cover because of where they live.
Sinn Fein had been pushing for contingency plans to be put in place to deal with flooding, but the government appeared incapable of strategic planning.
Mr Adams said:
“Citizens living in the areas worst affected are already angry that measures, which might have been taken to offset the worst impact of flooding, were not taken.
“Today it is reported that 300 cities, town and villages in this state are at ‘significant’ risk of flooding in the time ahead. The extent of the risk clearly requires strategic planning by the state to invest in flood defences.
“In light of the frequency of severe weather conditions it is obvious that the government has to plan ahead. For example, experts say that a tidal weir across the Lee, like that built across the Lagan, would resolve the flooding crisis in Cork. Similar solutions are available in other places.”
The Sinn Féin Leader asked where was the government’s long term plan to deal in a strategic way with the major flood risk the state now faced and what flood defences would be put in place to protect cities and towns across the state.