As flood fears increase, MEP accuses Sean Canney of lack of action
Following a road closure in Mayo due to flooding and fears of further flooding throughout the Midlands and West in the coming months, Sinn Féin MEP Matt Carthy says the Government are still dragging their feet of an issue of major concern to people in the region.
Matt Carthy said:
"Following a particularly wet weekend, the Westport to Maam road has been closed due to flooding.
"There are increasing fears of flooding in Western and Midland Counties in the coming months and a feeling that there has been little or no progress on flood defences since last year, specifically in relation to the Shannon catchment region.
"There is particular disappointment at the lack of action from Minister of State with responsibility for Flood Relief, Sean Canney TD.
"In the last Dáil term, Sinn Féin introduced a Bill to establish a Shannon River Authority to ensure proper coordination and a robust response from the various agencies responsible when flooding occurs.
"Mr Canney voted in favour of a similar proposal when he was a member of Galway County Council and that was to be welcomed.
"However, since his appointment as Minister of State with responsibility for Flood Relief there is scant evidence that Sean Canney has backed up that verbal support with action. This is not good enough.
“Sinn Féin’s Bill would establish an Agency with overall responsibility 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.
“It would be properly and adequately resourced under the auspices of the Office of Public Works. The issue of the management of the Shannon has been discussed as far back as the foundation of the State.
"This Bill would ensure that some positive and constructive action is finally taken.
“Sean Canney should now re-introduce to the Dail, the River Shannon Management Agency Bill 2016, if he still believes that this is the best course of action.
"If he has changed his mind on this issue he needs to inform the people of Galway East and of the entire Shannon region - many of whom have been adversely affected by flooding – of his change of heart and the reasons for it."