IFA Flood Project Chairman Michael Silke has called on the Minister of the Office of Public Works Brian Hayes to immediately address the problems of water levels on the Shannon and to assess the damage that has been caused to farm families and the wider community by the recent severe weather.
He said, “The current system, which is underpinned by protocols dating back to the early 1970s, disregards landowers’ interests. It is outdated and needs to be overhauled urgently to address the concerns of farmers whose land is submerged in water frequently.”
Michael Silke said, “Minister Hayes, who has responsibility for OPW, must take a lead here and insist on implementing a strategy. This must include an early warning system for extreme weather patterns and allow water to move on when heavy rainfall occurs. We also need to see essential maintenance work carried out. All of these measures have to be given legislative effect.”
He said the promise of a lead agency following the 2009 floods must be delivered upon must be delivered upon. He said the current situation whereby over half a dozen agencies have a say in water levels, with some having a veto on whether remedial works go ahead, is untenable and must be changed. “The failures of the past must not be allowed continue and it is up to the Government to address this issue once and for all.”