Friday 20 April 2018

Cabinet agree suite of measures aimed at responding to flood crisis

Flooding in Wellingtonbridge.
Flooding in Wellingtonbridge.
Niall O'Connor

Niall O'Connor

The Cabinet has this evening agreed a suite a measures aimed at responding to the country’s flood crisis.

Ministers signed off on a detailed plan aimed at assisting farmers, homeowners, businesses and sports and community groups affected by Storm Desmond and Storm Frank.

Significantly, a new coordination group for the Shannon will be set up within weeks, government sources told

The establishment of a long-term flood forecasting system which will involve 15 extra staff between Met Eireann and the Office of Public Works (OPW).

Taoiseach Enda Kenny told Cabinet that he and other ministers will meet representatives from the insurance industry on Tuesday to discuss how homes without cover can be assisted.

Environment Minister Alan Kelly will also meet the European Environment Commissioner to seek clarity surrounding the rules on dredging of rivers.

The other measures in the plan  include:

• A new scheme whereby the State will replace damaged fodder at the market rate

• A new agriculture hardship programme which will see farmers worst affected receiving cash payments

• An additional €10m for local authorities as part of their clean-up efforts

• Extending the €5m business grant scheme to sports and community organisations whose facilities have been affected by the floods

• Two pilot schemes in Crossmolina and Gregnamana for flood protection measures such as flood gates

• Agreement for a new roads programme which could be in the region of €60m

• The provision of funds from the Department of Social Protection for farm homes

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