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Minister commended for quick action

21 August, 2008 - by Cathal Boylan


Speaking after Tuesdays meeting of the Assembly's Regional Development Committee, Sinn Féin Assembly member, Cathal Boylan praised the immediate action taken by Minister Conor Murphy to convene the Government Crisis Management Group over the weekend and again yesterday to assess the impact of the floods and determine the relief response.

Mr Boylan said:

'Within the last fortnight citizens have experienced extreme flooding which has created great hardship for families and huge inconvenience around the main centres of population in both Dublin and Belfast where motorways carrying major traffic flows have been disrupted. It is devastating for families and communities who have been worst hit by the extreme floods experienced over the weekend.

"The Met Office have confirmed that this has been the wettest August ever recorded and I want to pay tribute to the efforts of all the agencies, emergency services and their staff who through their planned response prevented any serious injury or fatalities occurring.

"The Committee heard today from the various agencies engaged in the ongoing flood relief measures throughout the six-counties including the Roads Service, Water Service and the Rivers Agency.

"It is important that we assess the extent of the problem and the response to that as global weather patterns continue to change. As on previous occasions where extreme hardship has been caused by flooding the Government approved at Sunday's emergency meeting the introduction of a Compensation Scheme of one-off payments to households affected worth £1000.

"Myself and my Party colleagues on the DRD Committee welcome the immediate action taken by Minister Conor Murphy to convene the Government Crisis Management Group over the weekend and again yesterday to assess the impact of the floods and determine the relief response, including an independent and full investigation into the failure of the Westlink Underpass to cope with the floods.

"I would also urge local householders in the Armagh and Newry areas who have been affected to contact their local Council who will be able to deal with their compensation claim." ENDS

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