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Move flood victims to empty sites, says expert

AN EXPERT on the floods that devastated large parts of the country last winter has suggested moving people living in areas prone to repeat flooding into nearby ghost estates.

Climate change specialist and NUI Galway lecturer, Kieran Hickey said that the National Asset Management Agency could be engaged in moving residents in such flood-ravaged areas to the empty houses on higher ground that have been left abandoned by developers.

Mr Hickey's proposal is contained in a new book 'Deluge: Ireland's Weather Disasters 2009-2010' which was published yesterday.

People living in houses built on flood plains and sites subject to repeated flooding in winter could be demolished, Mr Hickey suggests. This, in turn, would encourage completion of nearby ghost estates.

Mr Hickey points out that the reality of climate change for Ireland is that the country will be subject to more extreme weather events.

He also proposes the appointment of a cabinet minister for climate change who would take charge of co-ordinating flood preventive measures.