Government to roll out long-term forecasting system, Minister says

Kevin ’Boxer’ Moran advises it may take a decade to develop

Independent TD Kevin “Boxer” Moran pictured outside Government Buildings. File photograph: Dave Meehan/The Irish Times

Independent TD Kevin “Boxer” Moran pictured outside Government Buildings. File photograph: Dave Meehan/The Irish Times

 

The Government has insisted it will develop a new long-term forecasting system to foresee significant weather events but warned it may take a decade to roll out.

Minister of State at the Office of Public Works Kevin ’Boxer’ Moran told The Irish Times €3 million has been allocated for the project and staff are being recruited by Met Éireann.

However he acknowledged it will be a long-term project that may take between 10 to 12 years to fully develop.

The Minister of State said this project was promised by the Government as far back as 2015 but nothing ever progressed.

Mr Moran said: “We are working hard to develop it quicker but because of the significant training that is involved and the complexities of the situation, it is going to take time.

“Recent events have demonstrated the need for it. Over the past couple of months, we have had four major flooding events, three storms and now a snow event.

“We are getting four seasons in less than a year. It is very worrying and we need to be better prepared.”

A Red warning has been in place for the majority of the country since Wednesday due to heavy snow and high winds.

The Government must now sit down and examine how to cope with such weather events in future, Mr Moran said.

“There has been a significant effort by the National Co-Ordination Group to get their message out and 91 per cent of people have heeded the advice.

“But there are people ignoring the advice and then relying on the emergency services when they get into difficulty.

“There has been people putting themselves and others in danger. Rather than scaremongering, we need to sit down after the event and put plans in place to better deal with these events.”

The Minister also advised of the potential of flooding in areas with high tides, in particular in the county of Cork.

If there is a slow thaw of the snow flooding is unlikely to occur but it may if there is a significant change in the weather, Mr Moran added.