Adams says whistle-stop flood tours by politicians ‘insulting’

Sinn Féin president criticises ‘child-like’ temporary flood relief works in Limerick

Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams speaks on Thursday with Geraldine Quinlivan  in  Clonlara, Co Clare. Photograph: Gerry Adams via Twitter

Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams speaks on Thursday with Geraldine Quinlivan in Clonlara, Co Clare. Photograph: Gerry Adams via Twitter

 

Whistle-stop tours by politicians to flood-hit areas can be “insulting”, according to Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams.

Mr Adams, who met flood victims in Clonlara, Co Clare on Thursday prior to visiting St Mary’s Park in Limerick city, said the solidarity of visits by politicians was not in question.

“That’s all important for morale. But what people want is results.”

“The most insulting thing would be that some of us [politicians] would go into these areas for a day or two days or for an hour or for five minutes and then next year the people are flooded again. That’s highly insulting.”

Mr Adams said he had been visiting flood-hit areas since three weeks prior to Christmas and was “staggered” there had been no sustained national effort to manage the Shannon river.

Mr Adams refused to be drawn into the spat between Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin and Enda Kenny over the extent of the Taoiseach’s visits to flood hit areas.

He was speaking after inspecting temporary works at St Mary’s Park, Limerick to prevent further flooding after the area was hit by unprecedented flooding in February 2014 which severely damaged hundreds of homes.

Mr Adams described as the remedial works as “child-like”.

“We went and looked at the two or three layers of concrete blocks that were placed on top of the (river) wall. “It’s like something a child” would make,” Mr Adams said.

“Despite all the rhetoric and all of the promises at the time, nothing has been put in place.”

Mr Adams said he hoped the Government would support a Sinn Féin Bill to set up a single management agency for the Shannon when it was brought before the Dáil next week.

While Mr Adams welcomed the establishment of a flooding task force, he said it lacked legislative powers and that the reason Sinn Féin was bringing forward its Bill.

On a tour of the Limerick constituency along with local Sinn Féin representatives, including Cllrs Maurice Quinlivan and Seighin O Ceallaigh, Mr Adams said it was unacceptable people in flood prone areas could not get insurance.