We need a co-ordinated response to flooding
Published 04/01/2016 | 02:30
In the battle battle against flood waters, 'red tape' and 'bureaucracy' have no place. So we understand the frustration and sincerity which underlie the comments by junior environment minister Paudie Coffey, when he calls for more freedom for landowners in response to flooding.
Mr Coffey has written to his officials, arguing that many landowners would mount their own flood defences themselves in efforts to protect their homes and property.
He further argues that the official rules are standing in the way of this approach.
Mr Coffey is right when he raises questions about failures to dredge rivers and maintain water flows.
There are strong arguments that such omissions have added to our difficulties with flood waters and needlessly augmented many people's suffering.
We must also counsel extreme caution here. The reality is that independent anti-flood works could have consequences elsewhere in the vicinity as water must find an outlet, whatever happens.
Ireland's response to the threat of flooding must be addressed urgently. But it must be co-ordinated nationally.