Fianna Fáil TD for Mayo, Dara Calleary, has expressed his frustration with the lack of planning by the Government to deal with potential flooding in Mayo and other high risk areas this autumn and winter.
Deputy Calleary raised the issue with the Minister with responsibility for the OPW, Kevin Boxer Moran, in the Dáil this week, but he was unable to give any real assurances that flood prevention or relief plans would be in place to deal with possible weather events.
“Minister Moran’s failure to outline specific initiatives to deal with rainfall levels this summer and their potential impact on flooding in those communities later in the year is extremely worrying. We have just come out of an exceptionally wet summer, and have seen devastating floods in Donegal and other parts of the country, which have left communities on their knees. Despite this, the Minister was unable to guarantee an immediate response should the same flooding occur later in the year,” said Deputy Calleary.
“What the Government seems to be unable to grasp is the fact that these 'extraordinary' weather events are becoming less extraordinary. While the response in Donegal was eventually very comprehensive, it took some time to organise. We won’t have that time if a number of areas are hit at the same time — as was the case during the winter storms of 2015/16.
“It’s now the end of September and the water level in the river Moy is what it should be at the end of November. It is the Government’s responsibility to ensure that it has a response in place to deal with any flooding which could occur. We need to take action now.”