€1.5bn needed to protect country from future flooding - Brian Hayes
Almost €1.5bn will be needed to protect the country from future flooding says Junior Finance Minister Brian Hayes.
"On funding I want to be very clear on my remarks here today. Despite the significant envelope of funds available for flood defences - more capital funds will have to be found as we prioritise this area," said Mr Hayes at an Office of Public Works (OPW) flood conference in Dublin Castle today.
So far €225m has been set aside to deal with flood risk management in the country but the current timeline to deal with hotspot areas is far too long, warns the Fine Gael TD.
"On the existing funding timeline, that could take over 30 years to complete those schemes. We don't have that time," said Mr Hayes.
The minister also stated that local communities had suffered greatly because of recent floods.
"Communities and individuals have been battered in every sense of the word," noted Mr Hayes.
He also called for an increased engagement around climate change in Ireland not just to pay attention when there is flash flooding.
In 2014 four major flood defence projects will be completed, in Ennis, Fermoy, Waterford City and River Wad and six schemes will commence in Bandon, Skibbereen, Templemore, Claregalway, Bray and the South Campshires.