City council call for ‘watertight answers’

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Limerick Flood 010MINISTER of State Brian Hayes told councillors at City Hall this week that the Government would do all it can to help flood victims in Limerick.

Speaking at a City Council meeting this Monday, Deputy Hayes said the scale of the disaster was “unprecedented” and praised the people of the Island Field and St Mary’s Park for their “great community spirit”.

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He called for a coordinated response to the crisis between the local authority, Gardai, Emergency Services, HSE and Department of Social Protection and pledged the Government’s full support.

“All eyes are all on Limerick right now and they want the Government to react. This crisis will need more funding in terms of flood defences and damage repairs and we are committed to that. The scale of this disaster is unprecedented. It is a national disaster, and we will work together with the people of Limerick,” he told council members.

When asked by Cllr Maurice Quinlivan (Sinn Fein) what kind of funding they could expect? Minister Hayes replied, “What’s required is what’s needed.”

Cllr Tom Shortt (Labour) commented, “What in the name of God caused this? There’s concerns that the ESB had a hand in it. We need watertight answers.”

Cllr John Gilligan (Ind) who has born and raised in King’s Island said he was glad to see the Government were taking the crisis seriously.

“Everything is gone, washed away. It’s a huge disaster. Cars were swept out of their drives. People were absolutely terrified and the banks were overwhelmed.

“I was born in King’s Island and I’ve lived here all my life and I’ve never seen such devastation. It was the perfect storm; it doesn’t get any worse. Nobody on King’s Island has insurance. People are angry, shocked and want to blame someone,” he said.

Cllr Jim Long (FG) praised Garda Chief Supt David Sheahan and City Manager Conn Murray for their response to the crisis. He also told Minister Hayes that he wouldn’t like to see him back in Limerick under the same circumstances again.

“Look at the insurance issue Minister. People in the Island Field would gladly pay for insurance but they can’t get it. It will cost millions”, he said.

Mayor Kathleen Leddin said the river was so high, she felt disorientated just looking at it.

“There has been such devastation but people are now helping each other in the most amazing ways.”

City Manager Conn Murray assured councillors that concerns regarding the ESB powerstation at Ardnacrusha were “not an issue”.

A combination of high tides and south westerly winds caused the flooding, he explained.