Brokers call for ‘fast-track’ of €1 billion flood relief package

The incoming Government will need to fast-track the planned €1 billion flood relief package designed to protect 11,500 properties – including many farms – if further mass devastation and loss of insurance cover is to be prevented, Brokers Ireland has said.

Speaking today, Wednesday, February 26, Cathie Shannon, director of general insurance services at the organisation, which represents 1,250 broker firms, said the plan is not due for completion until 2027.

“Given the increasing frequency of flooding, and bigger floods – particularly along the Shannon, the south and west – policymakers need to bring greater urgency to the issue,” she said.

She said the existing plan sees the Office of Public Works (OPW) and local authorities working together to implement the plan.

However, even as it stands it is difficult to have confidence that the plan will be implemented by the current date of 2027.

“Minister [for the Office of Public Works Kevin] Boxer Moran has already expressed frustration in the Dáil that a scheme on which he has been working in Cork has been going on for 10 years.

“It is clear to us that the plan will need a whole-of-government approach if it is to be implemented, including climate change input.

“More than that – it needs to be put in the fast lane,” she said.

Shannon added that such an approach “would not only assist the communities who are devastated, it would ultimately be more financially advantageous to the state because delays tend to be very costly indeed”.