Sinn Féin President and Louth TD Gerry Adams has been in contact with Louth County Council and the Department of Social Protection following his visit to flooded homes in the Mounthamilton area of Dundalk.
Teachta Adams said;
“Since his flooding episode began I have visited flood sites at Dundalk, Carrick-on-Shannon and Co Clare.
“I have witnessed the devastation of family homes and the destruction of people’s livelihoods. This is more than just the loss of property and possessions, the people I met have had their whole lives turned upside down.
“In relation to flooding at Mounthamilton on the Ardee Road, Dundalk people are frustrated that this is the third time in recent years that flooding has occurred. They feel that on this occasion flooding could have been avoided had preventative measures they outlined 13 months ago been enacted.
“I spoke to Louth County Council Chief Executive Joan Martin yesterday and she has agreed to look at a number of measures which will hopefully alleviate flooding in Dundalk. I raised with her the possibility of creating a permanent trench to take water from the Mounthamilton area, the widening of the culvert under the Ardee Road and we discussed a capital scheme which would remove the flood risk in this area and along the length of the Blackwater River.
“I am committed to helping find a permanent solution to this flooding and to work with all local and central government agencies on this matter.”
Deputy Adams also outlined his efforts in relation to financial support for the affected families;
“My office has been in touch with the Divisional Officer in the local social welfare office and there are dedicated staff there to help with completing ‘Humanitarian Assistance’ application forms. I have put the affected families in contact with the relevant staff members.”
Gerry Adams concluded by calling on the Government to introduce a single flood authority saying;
“It is not acceptable that families driven out of their homes by floods have to liaise with a raft of agencies to access supports and that it is left up to unfortunate home owners to resolve their own flooding issues.
“The Government must be proactive in the short term to sanitize these homes to endure they are fit to live in so that families can move back in. The Government must also draft a compensation package to enable home and business owners to restore their damaged properties. In the longer term it is essential that the Government channel resources into alleviating once and for all the perennial flooding problems in this State.
“The Fine Gael/Labour Government has cut €15.6 million from the Office of Public Works Flood Risk Management Programme. This must be reversed and additional funding must be found to combat flooding.”