We will figure out what went wrong - Minister
THE response by local authorities to the floods along the east coast "was inadequate" and could have been more effective, Minister of State Brian Hayes admitted today.
He said Environment Minister Phil Hogan already had launched an inquiry into why the response wasn't up to what was needed in the circumstances, particularly at local authority level, which must always be the first line in such cases.
The OPW Minister said it was now crucial that a clear review of what had and hadn't worked should be carried out so that lessons could be learned on how to approach such issues in the future.
"We cannot be precious about ourselves. We need to be able to recognise what we have to do," he stressed.
Mr Hayes agreed that although there was weather alerts given by Met Eireann as far back as Saturday, the amount of rainfall was simply enormous and that was what local authorities had to face up to.
Referring to damage to houses which because of their location could not get insurance, the Minister gave an assurance that the government was seeking a new protocol with the Insurance Federation on this issues. The Minister hoped to be in a position in the next few weeks to come up with a new set of proposals.
However, he made it clear that where there were cases of humanitarian relief following the floods this week, the government would look at those instances in a sympathetic light.
He said the government would look at particular issues around the flooding and if funding has to be found for people in a destitute position, they would see how they could be helped.