That leave be granted to introduce a Bill entitled an Act to create a single competent authority to co-ordinate flood risk and management along the River Shannon and to provide for matters connected therewith.
Ireland's longest river is the River Shannon. It is also the slowest moving because of the low gradient. It flows through 11 counties from Cavan to Limerick yet currently, 20 State agencies from the ESB to Waterways Ireland and local authorities are involved in water management, maintenance and other works. Each has responsibility for protecting its own prospects.
Data show there has been an increase in the pattern of flooding over the last 60 years and there is categorical evidence that the floods are getting bigger. These events threaten homes, farming lands and businesses and erode the quality of life rural Ireland and jeopardise its very existence. It is time there was single agency tasked with management of all aspects of the River Shannon. The threat posed continues to affect communities with a detrimental impact on local areas. What we need now is effective management, prevention, protection and preparedness.