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Flood management group owe the people an explanation
Sinn Féin TD Maurice Quinlivan has strongly criticised the interdepartmental group set up to work with the OPW for the management of flood risk after reports have emerged that the steering group did not meet for four years and the main group for almost six years.
Deputy Quinlivan said that this was wholly irresponsible and unacceptable when so many families were driven from their homes by the flood waters that have become a more frequent problem for people in rural areas to deal with and that the body in charge of devising strategy did not see fit to even meet.
The Limerick TD said:
“The news that the interdepartmental group that was set up to work with the OPW for the management of flood risk did not meet for four years and the main group for almost six years will send a deep feeling of anger through thousands of Irish people who battled against the recent flooding. Flooding was happening increasingly frequently and predictions of progressively heavier flooding, yet this group did not see fit to meet until four months before the flooding last Christmas.
“I myself had dealing with the head of the group, Brian Hayes MEP, who stood in Limerick city in 2014 and guaranteed me that we would have all the funding we needed to make sure that the flooding like we saw in King’s Island wouldn’t happen again. Limerick never saw Brian Hayes or any funding after that.
“To the people of Corbally, King’s Island, Castleconnell, other flooded parts of Limerick and the wider country, this is not good enough. Families were driven from their homes by rising flood waters, others only remained through the sterling work of the emergency services and the decency of neighbours. The body that was meant to meet and devise appropriate strategies to deal with the all too frequent flooding that our rural areas are having to deal with.
“There has to be a serious look at how we approach flooding and flood prevention in this country. Sinn Féin have already put forward the idea of a Shannon River Management body. Firstly though, the flood management group need to offer an explanation to the Irish people for the dereliction of their duty.”