Wednesday 21 February 2018

Storm Desmond: Taoiseach slammed for government's flood response

Taoiseach Enda Kenny
Taoiseach Enda Kenny

Political Correspondent

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 Michéal Martin said the Coalition has responded with a “lack of real proactivity” and that communities most affected are not receiving the level of emergency fund they require.

Mr Martin accused Mr Kenny of giving the public a “good weather forecast” but said the official response to the damage caused by flood Desmond has 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 leader of the Opposition, the Taoiseach insisted that local authorities and all relevant State agencies remain on “high alert” for the prospect of further flooding.

He said that €5m in emergency funding was approved by the Cabinet this morning and that this money will be directed at businesses affected, particularly those who do not have access to insurance.

Mr Kenny also pointed out that a €10m humanitarian fund, set up in 2012 under the auspices of the Department of Social Protection, is in place to provide emergency assistance.

The Fine Gael leader added that the Department of Agriculture has put in place a number of measures to assist farmers whose land has been flooded.

These include the lifting of restrictions on the movement of animals and arrangements for the transportation of slurry from flooded slurry tanks.

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