Wednesday 7 December 2016

Flood victims deserve more from our leaders

Published 06/01/2016 | 02:30

Taoiseach Enda Kenny onboard a tractor trailer as he toured the area of Carrick-On-Shannon. Brian Lawless/PA Wire
Taoiseach Enda Kenny onboard a tractor trailer as he toured the area of Carrick-On-Shannon. Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Politicians - if they get to stick around long enough - know there are always risks with any programme of action; but they are nothing like the costs that accrue from comfortable inaction. As the longest-serving TD in the Dáil, Taoiseach Enda Kenny knows that more is expected from a leader than a talent for getting into - and holding onto - office.

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One month into what has become a national emergency since the flood waters first rose before Christmas, there were urgent calls for a single Shannon authority to be set up. This is because dealing with the competing needs of Waterways Ireland, the OPW, the ESB, Bord na Móna, Inland Fisheries Ireland, local authorities, and the Office of Public Works, is simply too cumbersome.

But yesterday, Mr Kenny baulked at this. A single authority was not an option: It would take time, it would require legislative change, it would have to go to the EU, Government sources claimed.

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