Minister of state at the Office of Public Works Kevin “Boxer” Moran called for the drastic increase in the flood prevention budget just weeks before an independent report highlighting at-risk areas is due to be published.
Speaking to reporters at a site visit to Castleconnell and Montpellier in Co Limerick, both of which were badly damaged by flooding in 2009 and 2015, Mr Moran said he agreed more funding was needed.
In a strong indication of what is likely to be included in the imminent Catchment Flood Risk Assessment and Management Study when it is published later this month, the Independent Alliance TD said €430m is currently earmarked for flood prevention measures.
However, he told those present that as part of flood defence improvements he will be seeking funding of up to €1bn to cover all the areas prioritised in the study.
He committed to making the specific request to Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe.
Mr Moran said that after visiting a large number of flood damaged areas in recent years, he believes a long-term government strategy is needed to ensure at-risk land, villages, towns and cities are properly protected.
The move is likely to be particularly welcomed by communities in Limerick, Cork, Clare, Waterford and Galway, among others, which have been ravaged by flooding in heavy storms in recent years.
Like his Independent Alliance colleague Sean Canney, Mr Moran ran in the 2016 general election as an Independent candidate focussed on addressing the flooding problems.