National emergency plan is needed to deal with extreme weather – Kenny
Speaking in the Dáil on Tuesday, Sinn Féin Agriculture spokesperson Martin Kenny TD raised the issue of the lack of a national emergency plan to respond to incidents such as the Donegal flooding last month and the reality of problems with insurance companies paying out on claims.
Deputy Kenny said:
“The criticism is that there was not some kind of national emergency plan that could be implemented quickly wherever this type of event happens.
“The issue of insurance is another problem in all cases, and most people experience it when they have an insurance claim, the first thing the insurance company tries to do is wrangle out of it in whatever way possible to ensure it will not have to pay.
“Some of the people who have seen their lives washed away are experiencing that now. They are very angry that when insurance company representatives come out to them they start giving all kinds of reasons this or that is not covered.
“We would encourage the government to put a fund in place for local authorities to clean small rivers and drains. An example given to me in Donegal was of bridges washed away in cases where the rivers under them had not been cleared in 30 years. That is part of the problem. If there was a way of moving the flow of water faster, it would make a huge difference in many of these cases.
“That is not to say that help has not come. The Army came and helped people clear their houses and did a lot of other work for them. As has been said, Donegal County Council has been magnificent in the work it has done in the area.”