THE Environment Minister has been accused of “washing his hands” in relation to the flooding crisis which devastated Cork last winter.
The criticism came after Minister John Gormley declined an invitation to attend a meeting of the Joint Oireachtas Committee onEnvironment, Heritage and Local Government later this month to discuss its July report.
It included a recommendation that Mr Gormley appoint an independent team of experts to investigate the extreme weather experienced in places like Lee Valley and Cork City.
But Mr Gormley has declined to attend the meeting.
Labour TD Ciarán Lynchaccused him of “ducking hisresponsibilities”.
“Failing to step up and accept responsibility for a situation that developed right under his own nose marks a new low,” he said.
“Clearly Mr Gormley cannot take all the blame for what transpired last November, but as the point man for the local government system, he cannot simply walk away in this manner.”
He said his “dismissive attitude” is the “height of disrespect to the Oireachtas and to a committee that has at all times endeavoured to engage with him in a fair and constructive manner”.
Mr Gormley’s private secretary said the review of the severe weather events last winter is being coordinated by the Government Task Force on Emergency Planning.
“The task force is currently carrying out the review which includes consideration of the committee’s report and its recommendations,” Mr Gormley’s secretary told the committee.
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