Written Answers. - Flooding Compensation.

Hugh Byrne


97 Mr. H. Byrne asked the Minister for Finance if he will have arrangements made to pay compensation to the victims of the recent flooding in the King Street area of Wexford town; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [1770/96]

I am aware that the recent flooding caused considerable damage in Wexford.

I cannot accept that the Government has any liability to pay compensation in respect of such damage. Indeed, it would be reasonable to expect that many people who have suffered loss as a result of the flooding will be able to recoup most or all of that loss from their insurance companies.

I realise, however, that some humanitarian assistance will be required to help people who may have been uninsured through no fault of their own or who have suffered loss or hardship for which insurance cover could not be secured.

I presented a case for EU humanitarian assistance for the victims of flooding in Ireland to the Secretary-General to the EU Commission in Brussels last week. The Commission has since decided to recommend to the Council and to the European Parliament that a budget be provided to enable assistance to be given to Ireland and also to Portugal. While it is likely to be six to eight weeks before a final decision is taken on our request for assistance, I am happy that it has received such a quick and positive response to date. I will consider the need for Government assistance in the light of the response from the EU.