Dáil debates

Tuesday, 8 December 2015

Topical Issue Debate

Flood Prevention Measures

6:25 pm

Photo of Lucinda CreightonLucinda Creighton (Dublin South East, Renua Ireland) | Oireachtas source

I thank the Minister of State for taking this Topical Issue matter. Flood relief works for the River Dodder were committed to by the Minister of State's predecessor in 2012. We fought very hard in very challenging economic circumstances to secure funding for a very extensive works programme after the huge flooding experienced by residents along the banks of the river. At the time, a schedule of approximately two years was set out for those works, which means they should have been almost complete by now. Unfortunately, that is not the case. Instead, a new schedule of implementation for the works programme was circulated recently, indicating the Dodder project will not be completed until 2017. The residents in question are living in absolute fear. We in Dublin were very lucky not to experience the deluge of rain seen in other parts of the country over the weekend. Had we experienced it, I have no doubt that several of these homes close to the Dodder would have been flooded again. The people living there are at permanent and constant risk. They are enormously disappointed at the lack of action and have a real sense of having been let down by the slow pace of the works. They are living in fear of high tides and heavy rains and of their homes being obliterated again. Many of them had to move out for months on the last occasion in order to accommodate remedial works on their properties.

An issue on which the Minister of State's predecessor made no progress is that of access to flood insurance for persons whose homes have been flooded. None of the residents to whom I referred can acquire insurance, notwithstanding the fact that some of the works have been completed. The so-called comfort letters being provided by Irish Water and Dublin City Council are not worth the paper on which they are written. The Minister of State's predecessor talked tough and promised to take on the insurance industry on this matter but nothing was achieved. I hope the Minister of State has a plan to achieve progress. People cannot live in homes that are repeatedly flooded in a situation in which the OPW will not act promptly and they are unable to access flood insurance.


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