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Storms continue to show up Government ineptitude – Ní Riada

30 December, 2015 - by Liadh Ní Riada MEP

Sinn Féin MEP Liadh Ní Riada has railed against Government ineptitude in preparing flood defences as the latest storm lashes the country, saying that more hollow promises by Government are no substitute for action. Ms. Ní Riada’s constituency has been gravely affected, as have other parts of the state, including areas which had escaped until now.

The Ireland South MEP said:

“As I said last week, the way the emergency services met the recent storms must be commended. Without their discipline, professionalism, and dedication, the situation would be far more catastrophic, especially in rural areas. We cannot rely upon emergency services and the solidarity of neighbours in the long term however.

“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.

“Farms are under feet of water and farmers are stretched to their limit trying to save their homes and their livelihoods; all the while lending whatever assistance they can to friends and neighbours.

“The town of Enniscorthy in Wexford is experiencing levels of flooding not seen for 15 years, Thomastown in Kilkenny is similar. And these are only the latest examples; Bandon has become a symbol for the devastation of the storms of 2015. Flood defences need to be constructed and reviewed to ensure that people do not lose their homes or their livelihoods.

“The risk of flooding is increasing and will continue to increase.  People across this island need to know that our political leaders have a plan to prevent this happening in the future. How far into the alphabet soup of storms do we need to go before the Government realises that significant long term plans are required?

“Will the Government seek assistance from the EU Solidarity Fund? I, along with others in Sinn Féin, called for such action weeks ago and the Government turned a blind eye. Surely, they realise that their ‘humanitarian fund’, made up of recycled flood defence money, will not be enough for a single town, let alone the dozens of communities left overwhelmed by the extent of this disaster.” 

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