Sinn Féin will introduce a Bill to establish River Shannon Management Agency – Adams
Speaking this afternoon, Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams TD has said he and the Sinn Féin Environment Spokesperson Brian Stanley TD will introduce a Bill in the Dáil next week to give legislative effect to the establishment of a body to have overall responsibility for the assessment and management of flood risk and flood defences along the River Shannon.
Deputy Adams said:
“I have just left Dundalk where I was visiting homes in Mounthamilton which have been badly affected by floods. Three homes there have been destroyed, two of which have been subject to flooding in recent years as well. As a result, the homeowners can’t get insurance and they have had difficulty accessing compensation. There doesn’t appear to be adequate provision at Departmental or local Council level to clean and sanitise homes there. This is an unfortunately familiar story in various parts of the State.
“With regards the Government’s plans, we’ve heard next to no detail in relation to their announcement yesterday that a River Shannon taskforce is to be set up to deal with the consequences of flooding in the Shannon region, but it would appear that they are not preparing to give it a legislative footing.
“Sinn Féin has consistently called for a Shannon Authority to be set up and we believe it is absolutely necessary that any such agency established to carry out the level of work required in the Shannon region, both now and into the future, be established on a permanent legislative basis and be properly and adequately resourced under the auspices of the Office of Public Works.
“We have submitted the River Shannon Management Agency Bill (2016) and will introduce it to the Dáil next week. The agency would be responsible for the assessment and management of flood risk and flood defences along the River Shannon, for co-ordinating the work of key stakeholders in the region and for preparing a Strategic Plan for management of the River Shannon.
“The issue of funding to alleviate the crisis has also not been adequately addressed. The Government announced yesterday that an additional €10million was being released to local authorities, yet reports today indicate that the total bill may run to over ten times that amount. The Government need to make adequate provision now, not later, so there is no additional delay in helping citizens affected to return to their homes and so businesses affected may reopen as quickly as possible."