TD blames ‘EU bureaucracy and bulls**t’ for flooding

Tanaiste warns against relying on UK model to deal with problem

Aerial images of flooding. Photograph: Airman Jamie Martin/Air Corps

Aerial images of flooding. Photograph: Airman Jamie Martin/Air Corps

 

Overruling “EU bureaucracy and bullshit’’ would help solve Ireland’s flooding problems, Roscommon Independent TD Michael Fitzmaurice has said.

He urged Tánaiste Joan Burton in the Dáil on Thursday to “stand with England and change the EU…the bureaucracy that is going on, because we have the habitats directive and the water frameworks directive and one is colliding with the other’’.

Ms Burton said simple dredging of river beds would not be enough.

“I have to say, deputy, you might be right in some cases, but I seriously doubt you are right in all cases,’’ she added.

“People involved in tourism, in relation to areas like fishing, might not support your view that the rivers of Ireland should be simply gauged out.’’

Ms Burton said she was not sure the UK was a perfect model.

“I don’t know if you have read about Cumbria and what is happening there,’’ she added. “Are you proposing the Cumbrian model where they have spent tens of millions and it has resulted in no great defence of poor people ?’’

Ms Burton said there had to be local consultation to support communities but also wildlife and habitats as was required under EU legislation.

The flooding crisis was also raised by Sinn Féin TD Sandra McLellan