An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, has committed to appointing a Minister with special responsibility for flooding in the next Government, if Fine Gael are successful at the polls in the forthcoming General Election.
Mr Kenny made the commitment during a meeting with Longford-Westmeath TD, Gabrielle McFadden, while visiting Athlone last Friday to announce details of a new €40m regional jobs fund.
Speaking this week, Deputy McFadden said: “I have been speaking with the Taoiseach almost every day since the start of the flooding crisis. We spoke at length about solutions to the ongoing flooding in the constituency. I asked the Taoiseach to create a Minister with specific responsibility for flooding and the Taoiseach told me that this is a position he intends to appoint a Minister for if elected again in the coming weeks.
“The recent floods have been very difficult for many households across the region, and I have spent a lot of time in the last month doing everything I can to help local residents affected. The Taoiseach also updated me on the relief funds for business which the Government approved an additional €10 million for last week, and I know from my own work on the ground that social welfare officers are continuing to call to affected families and offering assistance and financial relief.
“The next steps in addressing this issue must be to make flooding issues a priority for the next Government. I am very happy that the Taoiseach has agreed, if elected again, to a Minister with responsibility for floods. It is an area that I have a very good understanding of and feel that such a position in Government is needed.”