SINN Féin Councillor Gary Doherty has praised the efforts of volunteers over the weekend and repeated calls for the Government to draft and implement a flood mitigation plan in the Finn Valley.
The east Donegal representative stressed it was only fair to acknowledge the Trojan efforts of all those who offered their help and assistance over the weekend to try and alleviate the impact of the flooding.
“While their efforts may have been in vain, it is no less important that they should be commended for giving of their time and energy to help out,” he said.
“The local community has simply been fantastic, and so too have the fire services, members of the Civil Defence, the Defence Forces and workers from Donegal County Council, each of whom came out to assist in whatever way they could to defend properties from the worst of the flood waters.”
In relation to the latest flooding, however, Cllr Doherty said lessons simply have not been learnt.
“Immediately after November’s floods, my party colleague Deputy Pearse Doherty highlighted the need for the inclusion of towns throughout the Finn Valley to be assessed under current mapping and flood risk assessment studies which are being carried out by the Office of Public Works OPW.”
“While the minister stated that these towns were identified as ‘areas of potentially significant flood risk’ as far back as 2011, here we are at the end of 2015 and what action has been taken to defend our towns against this threat?”
“Quite simply, the Government has sat on its hands and has done nothing to address this issue despite the Minister’s own admission that he knew since taking office that the threat of flood was high for this region – this is unforgivable.”
He went on to call on the government to immediately initiate a full and comprehensive flood management plan for the entire east of the county, an area where the majority of towns and villages are built on or near the banks of rivers.
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