Dáil debates

Tuesday, 8 December 2015

Topical Issue Debate

Flood Prevention Measures

6:05 pm

Photo of Thomas PringleThomas Pringle (Donegal South West, Independent) | Oireachtas source

I thank the Ceann Comhairle for taking this issue today. It is a sign of the extent of the damage throughout the country when one sees that many Deputies submitted a Topical Issue matter on this subject today.

I pay tribute to the members of the emergency services and staff of Donegal County Council who worked tirelessly over the weekend to help residents and citizens across the county. I also pay tribute to the many members of the public who came out to try to save property and help people who were devastated by the flooding.

A number of rivers across Donegal were impacted this weekend. The River Eske in Donegal town was flooded for the second time in three weeks. Many residents who had started work to repair damage from previous floods were devastated when they were flooded again this week. It is soul destroying for these people to have to go through that on a second occasion in a matter of weeks. The River Finn flows through Ballybofey, Stranorlar, Castlefinn and Lifford. Some areas in Lifford, which never flooded before, were affected. While there was a large amount of rainfall over the over a 24-hour period, we need to take action to ensure measures can be taken very quickly to try to alleviate the problems.

Glenties and Ardara on the River Owenea were affected, as well as Pettigo which has been affected on a number of occasions in recent weeks. It is a major problem. While we are looking for a response in terms of long-term measures, the Minister of State also needs to provide a short-term response, whereby Donegal County Council or the Office of Public Works can immediately carry out emergency measures to try to alleviate some of the problems. They may not be 100% successful, but they may help in the short term while long-term funding is being put in place. That is what I would like to hear from the Minister of State today.


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