Minister for the Office of Public Works (OPW ) and Longford-Westmeath TD, Kevin ‘Boxer’ Moran has secured €1 billion in funding to tackle flooding in Ireland during the next decade.
The funding is part of the National Development Plan, which was announced last Friday afternoon at a special meeting of the cabinet in Sligo, and falls under the National Planning Framework 2020-2040, which outlines a blueprint for the development of the country in the next decade and beyond.
Minister Moran had suggested the €1bn figure on a number of occasions during the last number of months. Speaking in Sligo last week, he said the investment in flood relief is a reflection of Government commitment to defend people’s homes and businesses.
“The securing of up to €1bn will greatly advance the building of 130 flood relief schemes identified in the OPW’s Catchment Flood Risk Assessment and Management programme (CFRAM ), he said. “Today’s announcement is a reflection of this Government’s prioritising of flood risk management and the building of flood defences.
“Since becoming Minister, I have strongly argued for increased resources so that the OPW can get on with the vital task of building flood defences without being held back by a lack of funding or staff.
“The important thing now is that the Government is recognising that the hardship and suffering by people from flood events must be tackled with a greater sense of urgency, by ramping up investment in the area. Personally, I am delighted to have secured this investment. The National Planning Framework is about planning for the future and flood relief measures must be part of it.”
Minister Moran said the Government is embarking on an ambitious project of development, the level of which will bring the Irish government’s infrastructural investment in line with some of the leading countries in Europe.
“The National Development Plan sets out how the Government, using taxpayer money, will invest €116 billion over the next 10 years,” he continued. “This will bring the level of government infrastructural investment towards the top of the European league tables. By doing this investment over a decade, we can ensure that this significant increase in investment is done in a sustainable and prudent fashion that does not overheat or endanger our economic progress.
“There is now an urgent need to finalise and adopt this framework, and the complementary 10-year Capital Plan, so that there is effective strategic planning and infrastructure investment to meet the pressing needs of a resurgent economy and wider society.”