IFA calls for focused flood risk strategy

Ireland needs a single body to deal with flood management and river maintenance, said IFA flood project chairman Tom Turley.

A Comptroller and Auditor General report on flood risk management has found that a group created to oversee the national coordination of flood risk management and flooding response did not meet between 2009 and 2015.

Mr Turley said this level of inaction did not bode well for the Shannon River Basin Management Co-ordination Group, established earlier this year in response to severe flooding on the river.

Mr Turley said: “The new body set up to oversee the management of the River Shannon was announced at the height of the flooding crisis earlier this year, but it must not be a simple political response. It must have the power and the impetus to get on with its work to manage the Shannon waterway and take the necessary actions to prevent future flooding.”

Meanwhile, IFA environment chairman Thomas Cooney has described the latest EPA water quality results as an example of what investment and hard work can achieve.

The results show that 93% of Irish bathing waters around the country are classified as being in either excellent or good condition.

Mr Cooney cited significant investment by farmers as key to this result.

“Farmyard storage and control of effluent has improved dramatically as a result of the investment of over €2bn in the last 10 years,” said Mr Cooney. Farmers recognise the value of a clean environment and will continue to work towards the highest standards.”

He said that Government support for agri-environment programmes for farmers will be critical to maintain this high level of clean bathing water.


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