Flood planning must be prioritised by Government – Carol Nolan TD
Sinn Féin spokesperson on Community and Rural Development Carol Nolan TD has said that the Government must make improving flood planning measures a priority.Teachta Nolan was speaking during a Private Member’s Motion on the issue this evening.Teachta Nolan said:“This Government is almost two years past the deadline for the completion of Flood Risk Management Plans and there is no sign of them being published.“The European Commission has signalled that they have initiated infringement proceedings against Ireland in order to enforce compliance on this issue.“It is a disgrace that the citizens of this country must depend on the European Commission rather than their own Government to act in their best interests.“Furthermore, recent figures obtained by my colleague Deputy Pearse Doherty from the OPW shows that there is very little provision by the government for flood relief measures in the upper Shannon region.
“Apart from a relatively minor scheme in Raphoe, Co Donegal, there has been no funding allocated for areas north of Athlone in the past five years and none projected in the next five either.“This is despite the fact that this region has been subject to significant flooding in recent times.“Other than the completion of the scheme in Tullamore, no additional allocation has been made for counties Laois and Offaly.“The submission by the OPW to the Review of the Capital Plan makes it clear that additional resources are required for the office to complete flood defence works.“It further states that the fact that this has not been provided for has already constrained the efficient delivery of some aspects of flood defence schemes.
“It states that an additional €102 million will be required by 2022 in order to continue works on the current schemes. Sinn Féin has proposed an additional €35 million in Budget 2018 alone.
“I am calling on the Government to commit to the provision of necessary funding in order to complete flood defence works; to provide the flood risk management plans to the European Commission without further delay and to commit to an adequate scheme of compensation for farmers in the ongoing review of Areas of Natural Constraint.”