A delegation of politicians from the region, which included Castlerea based MEP Luke ‘Ming’ Flanagan MEP and Roscommon-South Leitrim TDs Denis Naughten and Michael Fitzmaurice met with Environment officials of the European Commission today to seek clarification on what activities can be carried out to alleviate future flooding in the Shannon Basin and who is responsible for same.
In a statement release earlier this evening by Luke “Ming” Flanagan, on behalf of the delegation, it was confirmed that the Commission indicated that although dredging of rivers may not be the most favourable environmental approach to addressing flooding problems it could form part of an overall solution to include reforestation and “re-wetting” of bog lands. The officials also reiterated that the Irish Government does not need to seek EU permission, or to notify the Commission, if it intends to carry out flood relief work.
It was also noted at the meeting that a Flood Risk Management Plan which was to due to completed in 2015 had been delayed and the delegation are calling on the authorities to publish and implement this plan as soon as possible in order to provide the necessary template for alleviating floods for the future. They are also of the view that there has to be real and meaningful consultation with and input from land owners ahead of the drafting of the Flood Risk Management Plan in order to utilise their local knowledge and to avoid allowing land to stagnate.
The Commission also confirmed that an application could be made to the EU Solidarity fund and that Regional Funds could also be utilised to alleviate or mitigate the risk of flooding.