Adams visits flood victims in Derry and Inishowen
Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams TD today visited flood victims in Eglinton, Derry and Inishowen and saw for himself the extent of the devastation and the personal trauma for the families affected, many of whom are homeless.
Gerry Adams said:
“I want to extend my solidarity to all of those affected by the recent floods and to commend the local communities for their courage and resourcefulness in the face of this significant environmental disaster.
"I also want to commend all of those who have responded with speed and urgency to the floods, including local communities, neighbours, civic society, the first responders, the local councils and statutory agencies, and all of their staffs.
"The extent of the damage is devastating and unprecedented. A large number of homes, businesses, farms, local sports clubs, and community amenities have been affected north and south
"Newtownstewart had eight homes damaged. In Donemana the Cricket Club and Donemana FC pitches were badly damaged and the Drummond Centre destroyed. Overall 26 families have been housed in emergency accommodation.
"In Donegal 50 families are being temporarily rehoused any many others have been affected by the floods. A report from Donegal County Council today says that 425 separate incidents of damage to roads and bridges have taken place. The vast majority of these are in Inishowen.
"It is critical that that the governments, state agencies and government departments north and south move quickly and effectively to ensure the full breadth of necessary funding and supports are put in place.”
The Sinn Féin leader has criticised the failure of the Irish government to produce the Flood Risk Management Plans that are required under the EU Floods Directive which came into force in 2010.
Gerry Adams said:
”Climate change has been responsible for successive severe weather events impacting on the island of Ireland. The government is failing in its responsibility in not producing Flood Risk Management Plans.
"Two years ago, following similar floods along the Shannon River basin, I also urged the government to provide insurance cover for families, businesses and farmers. This too needs speedy progress.”
Gerry Adams also called on the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs in the North to establish a hardship relief scheme similar to that introduced by Michelle O'Neill MLA in response to the snow crisis in 2013 and to ensure that the farming community will not be disqualified from area based schemes such as Single Farm Payment as a result of the landslides and damage to their land.