Government must live up to responsibilities on flooding - Adams
Raising the concerns of Shannon flood victims in the Dáil this afternoon, Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams TD told An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny that ‘citizens whose homes have been destroyed and businesses closed as a result of flooding have heard successive Governments make hollow promises each time this occurs’.
Teachta Adams said:
“On Friday, I visited Carrick-on-Shannon in Co. Leitrim and Cortober in Co. Roscommon to witness the devastating effects of the Shannon floods on homes and businesses there. I met with representatives of the Chamber of Commerce, local hoteliers, shopkeepers, householders and visited a number of local businesses. I want to commend all of those who made a huge effort to place sandbags and take preventative measures.
“One man, who runs a business that provides vital local employment but which has been closed as a result of the floods pays €23,500 per year in rates. He can’t obtain flood insurance. Neither can many other businesses.
“Local residents I met, some of them surrounded in their homes by flooding, were deeply unhappy at the lack of strategic planning by the Government in relation to a problem which is predictable and preventable.
“There is an urgent need for the Government to fast-track the OPWs ‘Catchment Flood Risk Assessment and Management Programme'. As part of this, there is a vital need for consultation with local people who have vital knowledge and expertise of local flood patterns, which is a critical and sometimes neglected part of this process.
“Citizens whose homes have been destroyed and businesses closed as a result of flooding have heard successive Governments make hollow promises each time this occurs.
“Government cuts to the OPW flood programme have resulted in a reduction of €15.6 million in flood relief which must be reversed and there is an onus on the Government to urgently bring forward proposals for a state funded flood insurance scheme.”