Speaking in the Dáil today on recent flooding and storm damage, Sinn Féin’s spokesman on Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Martin Ferris TD, called on the government to declare a national emergency and seek EU solidarity funding to help victims of storm damage and flooding.
Deputy Ferris said:
“I welcome that the government recognises the need to help people deal with the consequences of this disaster. And that is what it is, it is a disaster, a national emergency and I believe that the government has to wake up to that fact and act accordingly.
“Are you serious minister? Are you seriously suggesting that €70 million extra is going to deal with the devastation we have seen in the recent past and which as I am standing here, speaking in this chamber, is happening in my own constituency.
“I don’t like to make political points in such circumstances, but you spent €80 million, €10 million more, on consultants for Irish Water.
“If the threshold for emergency aid from the European Union is too high to deal with this devastation, then we have to ask for the threshold to be changed. This is not an elective spend: I repeat, it is a national emergency.
“There is funding available at the EU level and this government has to stand up and speak for the people who are in dire need and get some of this funding.”