Success of CFRAM project will be measured by delivery – Cllr Ó Murchú

Louth Sinn Féin Councillor Ruairí Ó Murchú has said that the allocation of €83 million to alleviate flooding in the county must be targeted to protect those most vulnerable.

Following a presentation in Louth County Council offices by Minister Kevin ‘Boxer’ Moran at which Sinn Féin Councillors Ruairí Ó Murchú, Anne Campbell and Pearse McGeough were in attendance, Cllr Ó Murchú said;

“The CFRAM project has long been in the pipeline so I welcome the progress which was outlined to Councillors in the presentation. It is welcome news that a steering committee has been established to oversee the delivery of these flood defences and that the committee will formally meet in October.

“What is lacking at the moment, however, is the detail about what schemes are to be progressed and in what order. I accept that this is a major project which will necessitate detailed plans and specialist input. However, the success of the project can only be measured by delivery.

“We simply cannot countenance areas of repeat flooding such as Mounthamilton, Red Barnes Road and the Flurry River area. I am heartened at the Minister’s commitment to return to Louth in the coming weeks and visit some of the places which regularly flood and I will be sending him a list of suggested areas.

“I look forward to working with the local CFRAM committee to protect homes and businesses across Louth. It is estimated that 2,300 properties will be protected on completion of the works.”

 

Flooding distress in Dundalk – Adams

DSC_3254_6510Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams TD speaking in the Dáil today said that the utter devastation and distress of families and communities across large parts of the island of Ireland as a result of flooding have been shocking.

Teachta Adams said:

“The Irish government has failed to take account of the warnings, co-ordinate the relevant state agencies effectively and speedily; or adequately plan for a future in which these storms are regular features of our autumn and winter.

Before Christmas I visited Carrick-on-Shannon and spent some time with people whose homes and businesses were flooded. Last week I met families in the Mounthamilton area of Dundalk.

Many I spoke to were mentally and physically exhausted with the daily battle against the floods. Many were frustrated by the government’s poor response.

In one case in Mounthamilton the teenage children of a family don’t want to return home. The house is destroyed. This is the second time their home has been flooded in recent years. The last time they spent a huge amount of money on refurbishment. Two out of thirteen houses are flooded there.

None of the residents had access to their homes because the roadway was submerged. There were issues with sewage and no refuse collections. Mounthamilton was badly flooded also in 2014.

Their neighbour’s home has now been flooded six times – in 1979, 1992, 2000, 2014, in December 2015 and again this month.

Of course, climate change is a major factor in all of this. Thus far the Irish government’s approach to climate change has been inadequate.

The planning laws passed by successive governments in this state have contributed to this crisis. Developers have been allowed, even encouraged, to build on floodplains. Thus far this government has shown scant interest in taking the necessary measures to protect homes and towns or to tackle the insufficient planning regulations that have contributed to this crisis.

A report at the weekend in the Sunday Business Post revealed that the Office of Public Works has identified 70,000 homes at risk of flooding.

The government’s response to this aspect of the crisis has been especially slow.

Last year the European Commission approved a British reinsurance scheme called “FloodRe”, aimed at ensuring availability of domestic and SME insurance at affordable prices for flood-related damage.

The Taoiseach should examine the memorandum of understanding agreed between the British Government and Association of British insurers.

Under that agreement a sum of money now exists which is funded entirely by the British property insurance industry through premiums passed on by the insurers, but capped, as well as a levy charged to all insurance companies active in the market.

The government now needs to take the necessary steps to help families, farmers and businesses.

That means:

  • The government and local authorities need to put in place measures to help sanitize homes and businesses contaminated by dirty water.
  • It needs to put in place an accessible compensation package to enable people restore their damaged properties.

  • And there is an urgent need for a long term holistic strategy that takes account of current difficulties but also plans for future issues, more storms, rising sea levels and the construction of new flood defences.

An all-island approach to tackling flood risk and management should be at the top of the agenda.

Today I moved Sinn Féin’s River Shannon Management Agency Bill in the Dáil. It provides for a single agency with a strong legislative basis able to comprehensively plan the management of the Shannon River basin.”

FLOODING SHOWS IW LACK OF RESPECT FOR DROGHEDA – FLOOD

SF Kenneth Flood SpeakingSinn Féin councillor Kenneth Flood has hit out at Irish Water in what he says is “a total lack of respect for the people of Drogheda.”

The problem area is around Greenhills which sees retention of water after even a light rainfall and raw sewage coming up from the drains onto the public road.

Cllr Flood who has been very vocal on this issue said “I have raised this at the Drogheda Municipal Council meeting and have also been on to the engineers responsible to have this issue resolved once and for all”.

On a more positive note Cllr Flood explained that “Louth County Council, who have responsibility for certain aspects of the drains, have done everything within their remit to help alleviate the problem. Gullies are to be cleared if they haven’t already been, and older inaccessible gullies will have double gullies put in at either side. This should end the problem of the raw sewage washing out onto the street and help alleviate the retention of water flowing downhill from Bredlin Street”.

However, Kenneth Flood was not as positive about Irish Water, “To end flooding in the area once and for all, a gully affected by tides will have to be replaced and this is the responsibility of Irish Water. Council officials passed all the information on to Irish Water several weeks ago and have not even had the courtesy of a reply.”

“This is a total lack of respect for the people of Drogheda. They need to respond to the Council with a solid plan of works to be actioned. Irish Water is a quango, it is unfit for the job it was supposedly set up to resolve. Responsibility for the water services needs to be returned to the local authorities and the money and taxes that is being collected of the people, need to be spent in areas they were intended for.”

“Last week my colleague Imelda Munster highlighted how monies collected through road tax for example, is no longer spent on the upkeep of the roads, it is being pumped into Irish Water. This is a farce and needs to come to an end.”

After a light shower

After a light shower