Government not taking flood risks seriously – Adams
Sinn Féin Leader Gerry Adams has said the Government has failed to take the issue of flood risk and flood defences seriously and that residents and businesses are suffering as a result.
Deputy Adams called for the immediate reversal of cuts to capital spending for the OPW's Flood Risk Management Programme and for a compensation scheme for residents and small businesses affected by weekend flooding at the weekend.
The Louth TD said:
“Communities in various parts of the state have been devastated in the wake of Storm Desmond with extensive flood damage caused to residential homes and small businesses.
“Despite the increasing frequency of flooding in recent years, the present Government has not taken the issue seriously.
“The Government actually cut capital spending for the OPW's Flood Risk Management Programme in 2016 by €15.6 million, or 25 percent.
“Bandon in west Cork has been devastated by floods for the second time in six years. Businesses in the town have no insurance.
“This Government promised in 2011, and again in 2012, that work would begin on a flood defence project in 2013.
“The Government needs to explain why it took the OPW 20 months to reconfigure tender documents after the unsuccessful contractor threatened legal action over their exclusion from the shortlist.
“In light of the devastation of flood damage over the weekend and the likelihood of further flooding in the time ahead, the Government must immediately reverse the cut to the OPW's Flood Risk Management Programme.
“It also needs to establish a compensation scheme for those residents and small businesses in various parts if the country who have been affected by the weekend’s flooding.”