Fianna Fáil TD for Donegal Charlie McConalogue has called on the Government to learn lessons from its belated response to flooding in Donegal and address broader concerns around the impact of flooding nationally.

Fianna Fáil is using its Private Members time in the Dáil to call on the Government to do more to address the devastating impact of flooding in Donegal as well as getting to grips with national flooding issues.

Deputy McConalogue stated, “Families, farmers, businesses and sport clubs were all affected by the devastating flooding which hit the county last month. However the Government’s belated response has left many struggling to make ends meet in the face of serious losses.

The Government needs to get to grips with the situation and start implementing relief schemes, as well as broadening out supports to include farmers who have lost grain crops, potato crops, unharvested silage and damage to agricultural roads.   The Rural Development Programme should also be amended to allow for supports to farmers affected by adverse weather conditions.

“While Donegal needs to be prioritised, there are broader national issues that need to be addressed. Our increasingly volatile weather means it’s vital the Government invests in flood defences.  Over the past number of years, there has been a continual underspend in this area and it is essential that in light of the situation in Donegal that all money committed to flood defences is fully spent.

“Insurance issues may now arise for many families in Donegal. Fianna Fáil’s Flood Insurance Bill 2016, which ensures that insurance companies must provide cover to homes in areas where the OPW has invested in flood defences, has passed second stage in the Dáil.  This legislation will prevent insurance companies from cherry picking customers and potentially leaving others behind.

“Fianna Fáil is calling on the Government to facilitate this passage of this Bill as a matter of urgency and to develop a new insurance model to cover all homes built within planning guidelines”.