Taoiseach 'to tease out' flood cover issue with insurance firms

Taoiseach 'to tease out' flood cover issue with insurance firms
Some of the flood barriers in Fermoy.

By Daniel McConnell, Political Editor

Taoiseach Enda Kenny says people living in towns where flood defences exist must be given flood insurance.

Mr Kenny was speaking ahead of a meeting with insurance companies about the lack of cover for those people in towns like Fermoy and Clonmel where publicly funded flood defences exist and have worked.

“We need to have to have a forthright discussion with the insurance companies. There is a difference between towns where defences have been put in place, as in Fermoy and Clonmel.

"The stories I am getting is that people are still unable to get insurance for their homes. We need to tease that out.

"The Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform said there are a number of options to be looked at here. We can’t have the position where people are left bereft of cover, where defences have been put in place at taxpayers’ expense. It is in that area that I wish to discuss.

Asked are levies on the table for discussion, Mr Kenny said the Government will consider the options open to it as how best to deal with the issue.

He said: “There is of course a difference between those places which have not had flood defences put in and towns that have defences which are proven to work."

He also revealed that his absence from the flood hit areas over Christmas was because he was sick with the flu.

"Flu comes to everybody I suppose at some stage,” he said.

Mr Kenny did pay tribute to the efforts of those who have helped those affected.

“I did 10 hours on Saturday, in some places in South Galway. It was very distressing, but I must commend the communities for their ferocious determination.

"The emergency meetings which I have attended and the meeting we had of the CEOs of the agencies who have statutory authority for the Shannon, they were quite constructive.

“I think Government has made quite a number of decisions in regard to flooding and the consequences of flooding."

The Taoiseach is to have a meeting with the insurance companies about households and businesses who cannot get insurance.

“This is most difficult for those who are most affected. The range of decisions made by Government now need to be carried through. People can see action is being taken,” he said.

Mr Kenny also ruled out any suggestion of a post-election deal with Fianna Fáil saying he was only committing to trying to get the Coalition re-elected.

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