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Government must protect communities devastated by flooding – McLellan

10 December, 2015

Sinn Féin’s Sandra McLellan TD criticised the Tánaiste over the government’s ineffective response to flooding, both in the immediate and the long-term.

Speaking in the Dáil today during Leaders’ Questions, Deputy McLellan said:

“Tanaiste, the photographs in many of today’s papers are very stark. They show entire communities under water.  Vast swathes of the country are now flooded. Many of us here today come from communities that have been devastated by the recent bad weather including in my own County of Cork.

“Homes and businesses have been destroyed.  People’s livelihoods are literally being washed away.  And this is not the first time for many citizens. Tánaiste, people in these areas cannot get insurance to cover their homes and businesses against this type of damage and that is a huge problem.

“The Taoiseach was asked yesterday by my colleague Padraig Mac Lochlainn if he would introduce a state funded aid package for households and businesses in areas of high risk of flooding who cannot get insurance cover through no fault of their own.  He would not give that commitment.

“Tánaiste, you have cut the OPW’s Flood Risk Management Programme in 2016 by €15.6million or 25%. The five million that the government has committed for flood relief will do nothing for homeowners as it is allocated to help businesses.

“The risk of flooding is increasing and will continue to increase.  So can I ask if the government has a long term strategy to deal with the risk of flooding and to improve our flood defences? People across this island need to know that our political leaders have a plan to prevent this happening in the future.”

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