Floods need ‘multifaceted’ response, Kenny says

Taoiseach responds to criticism over lack of preparation for flooding along the Shannon

 Flood defence work on the banks of the  River Shannon in Athlone, Co Westmeath. File photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Flood defence work on the banks of the River Shannon in Athlone, Co Westmeath. File photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

 

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has said a “multifaceted’’ response is required to deal with the flooding problem.

Mr Kenny said that this included works that could be carried out under habitats and water directives.

The Taoiseach told the Dáil on Wednesday that “an effective working strategy’’ was required to deal with flooding along the Shannon basin, from estuary to source.

“One of the decisions made by the Government was to invest in detailed capacity for far greater information about long-range weather forecasting, so that the authorities and people in communities would be well aware as far in advance as possible of what might happen,’’ the Taoiseach said.

Mr Kenny was replying to Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin, who said that many people were angry about the lack of preparation for storms this winter.

Mr Martin said the House should be debating the establishment of an agency to deal with the flooding problem in the Shannon region.

Insurance cover

Mr Martin said that there had been no discussion until Tuesday last regarding insurance cover for homes that are at risk from flooding.

He said he wanted to know why there had been a lack of preparation in terms of the response to the damage caused by the storms.

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