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Dublin: 5 °C Tuesday 26 March, 2019
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A group set up to plan flood defences didn't meet for four years

Another didn’t meet for six.

Emily Topka sips on a mug of tea outside the Bastion Apartments in Athlone, from which residents were evacuated during January.
Emily Topka sips on a mug of tea outside the Bastion Apartments in Athlone, from which residents were evacuated during January.
Image: Eamonn Farrell

A STEERING GROUP established to plan Ireland’s flood defences did not meet for the four years up until November 2014.

That is the finding of a special report by the Comptroller and Auditor General’s office.

The report also found that an inter-departmental group set up to plan flood risk management didn’t meet for six years up until July 2015.

Winter storms brought severe flooding across Ireland just months ago.

The high-level group did meet between 2006 and 2009, the report says, but left it six years to meet again.

The report highlights numerous failings in flood planning in Ireland, identifying the lack of oversight for pilot projects set up to make flood maps. The programmes had identified 300 areas to be mapped, but by the second deadline in 2014, the OPW had only submitted 50 maps.

The report says that €329 million was spent on capital projects in flood management between 2005 and 2014.

Tom Turley of the Irish Farmer’s Association said this “level of inaction is unacceptable as urgency is required at a time when flooding incidents are becoming more regular and targets have already been missed”.

Read: Hated last winter? New research suggests it’s going to be the ‘new-normal’

Read: Here’s how much has been paid out to flood damaged households in these 22 counties

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