Dáil debates

Tuesday, 15 December 2015

2:35 pm

Photo of Enda KennyEnda Kenny (Taoiseach, Department of An Taoiseach; Mayo, Fine Gael) | Oireachtas source

As I said to the Deputy, many of the authorities that have responsibility or overlapping responsibilities along the River Shannon are statutory authorities. On his point that if there was the will, we could have a single authority, the process of putting in place of such an authority would, in practice, be lengthy in terms of visits to the courts on the definition of responsibility and what statutory authority meant. Those whose homes and businesses are flooded cannot wait because the river continues to rise and the current defences are inadequate. The Deputy has seen the pictures of the thousands of acres of areas under water. While some flexibility is provided for in the farming sector in terms of the movement of animals, flooded slurry pits and so on, the main issue concerns how we are going to deal with the flooded areas in a pragmatic fashion. I noted when travelling home last weekend that many of the areas flooded were areas that had always been subject to flooding during the 40 years I had been travelling to and from Dublin. It happens in the winter time. The difference is that there are now buildings and houses in places where they should not be.

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