Deputy Pat the Cope Gallagher has labelled the Government’s latest flood relief schemes announcement for Donegal as a complete washout, with only 2.9% of the overall funding allocated to the county.
Despite the numerous instances of flooding we have had on a reoccurring basis and even with the highest rainfall of all the counties in the country – the Government still failed to prioritise funding for the county.
The case for Donegal flooding measures has just not been heard by the Government – and it is another instance of where Donegal is just not a priority for this present Administration, he added.
Pat the Cope said it is truly shocking how this Government has prioritised flood risk areas and completely failed to take account of other areas.
He said “Numerous submissions had been made for flood relief schemes and other measures within the county – areas such as Castlefinn, Ballybofey – Stranorlar, Killybegs, areas throughout north Donegal which had the most catastrophic flooding in years, numerous other areas – but, none are to be funded through this Government programme or were they included in today’s announcement of over €257 million euro of funding.
“It is evident that the case for the above mentioned areas needs to be revisited without delay. I, of course, welcome the funding of €5.94 million for Lifford and hope that works can move to construction stage without delay – these works are essential and extremely important.
“Likewise the allocation for Downings of €870,000 and the Glenties funding allocation of €500,000 will in part address the flooding risks in those areas. But, on the broader countywide picture there are vast areas which simply do not make the reckoning in this funding round.”
Pat the Cope said today’s fanfare announcement by the Government is a complete wash out for Donegal.
“It’s much ado about nothing, it will be more famous for what it failed to do rather than for what it solved. I seriously call into question the criteria by which these allocations are made, if you assess flooding instances and rainfall records Donegal scores the highest but when it comes to allocation of funding we score one of the lowest within the country.
“Serious flooding risks remain unsolved by this announcement today – the Government can no longer ignore the flooding risks and dangers to the individual and ones property within Donegal.
“Equal priority must be given to Donegal and the case for Donegal must be made at Government level, more of the same is not going to resolve anything for Donegal – the Ministers need to take stock and take action without delay and address the flooding areas within our county,” he said.