Monday 5 December 2016

Martin defends decision to only visit flood areas in native Cork

Published 06/01/2016 | 16:12

Micheál Martin. Photo: Mark Condren
Micheál Martin. Photo: Mark Condren

FIANNA Fail leader Micheál Martin has defended only visiting areas devastated by floods in his native Cork over the Christmas break.

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Fianna Fail have been critical of the Taoiseach’s response to the floods, which saw Enda Kenny only visit parts of his own constituency of Mayo during the first days of the worst flooding to hit the country since records began.

Mr Martin admitted he only visited areas of Cork badly hit by Storm Frank but insisted it is not his responsibility to visit any other areas of the country as he is not the Taoiseach.

“The Taoiseach is Taoiseach of the country. I’m not Taoiseach of the country - he’s the executive in charge, come on now let’s get straight about this,” he said.

“I have visited areas that were well outside my constituency but that’s not the point. The point is I got a first-hand view of what was going on on the ground,” the Cork South Central TD said.

Mr Kenny visited areas of Athlone in Westmeath, which were devastated by floods after public pressure.

However, local Fianna Fail TD Robert Troy claimed the Taoiseach arrived in the constituency “under a veil of secrecy” and only visited party supporters affected by the torrential rain.

“He had a press conference in the confines of the Army Barrack because he didn’t want any of the public to meet him and when he did finally get out of the confines of the Army barrack he went and met some of his own party supporters who were affected by this issue, who he knew wouldn’t challenge him,” Mr Troy said.

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