Coalition's response to emergency 'slow paced', says Martin
Published 09/12/2015 | 02:30
Taoiseach Enda Kenny has been strongly criticised over the Government's response to the latest flooding emergency that has devastated parts of the country.
Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin yesterday accused the Coalition of responding with a "lack of real pro-activity" and said the communities most affected were not receiving the level of emergency funding they required.
Speaking during Leaders' Questions, Mr Martin accused Mr Kenny of repeatedly giving members of the public a "good weather forecast", but said the official response to the damage caused by flood Desmond had been "slow paced".
"There is a real sense that the Government doesn't get it in terms of what is happening," Mr Martin said.
Responding to the comments, the Taoiseach insisted that all local authorities and relevant State agencies remained on "high alert" for the prospect of further flooding.
He said that €5m in emergency funding, which was approved by the Cabinet yesterday, would be directed at businesses most affected, particularly those that did not have access to insurance.
Mr Kenny also told TDs that a €10m humanitarian fund, set up in 2012 under the auspices of the Department of Social Protection, remained in place to provide emergency assistance.
The Fine Gael leader added that the Department of Agriculture had put in place a number of measures to assist farmers whose land had been flooded.
These include the lifting of restrictions on the movement of animals and new arrangements for the transportation of slurry from flooded slurry tanks.
The Taoiseach also expressed sympathy with the family of Co Tyrone showband singer Ivan Vaughan (70), who died when his car was engulfed in floods in Co Monaghan on Sunday.