Thursday, 20 June 2013

Questions (13, 51)

Derek Keating


13. Deputy Derek Keating asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the position regarding measures to prevent flooding in Lucan Village and surrounding area and Clondalkin Village and surrounding area, Dublin; if he will provide in tabular form the number of floods that have taken place in these areas in the past ten years; his view on home insurance loading since rehabilitation has taken place; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29493/13]

View answer

Derek Keating


51. Deputy Derek Keating asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform his views on home insurance loading since rehabilitation has taken place; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29494/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Public)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 13 and 51 together.

Following flooding of the Lucan area in 2000, I am advised by South Dublin Co. Co. that they carried out emergency works including the construction of a berm at Vesey Park to prevent the river bursting its banks onto the Adamstown Road. Two engineering reports in 2001 commissioned by them on the 2000 flood event recommended the upgrading of the river channel and bridges on the Griffeen River to provide conveyance capacity for the 100-year flood event. These works were completed in 2004 at a cost of €5m.

The Council, in association with Chartridge Ltd, the developers of the Adamstown SDZ lands, also completed a scheme in August 2009 to alleviate flooding in the Tubber Lane area. This consisted of works in the Tubbermaclugg Stream, the provision of an attenuation pond and upgrading of culverts and pipework. The scheme which is designed to protect against the 100 year flood event cost €7.7m and the costs were shared by the Council and Chartridge Ltd.

The significant works that have been carried out have been successful in that no house has been flooded by river water in Lucan since 2000.

The area from Lucan through to Chapelizod is an Area for Further Assessment (AFA) in the Eastern Catchment Flood Risk Assessment and Management (CFRAM) Study which is being carried out by RPS Consultants. The rivers Liffey and Griffeen are High Priority Watercourses through the AFA. Draft flood mapping for the Eastern CFRAM Study will be made available in late 2013, with the Flood Risk Management Plan being available in late 2015.

The River Camac is a High Priority Watercourse in the Eastern CFRAM Study through Clondalkin. Following the October 2011 flood event, the OPW, following discussions with South Dublin County Council and Dublin City Council, requested RPS consultants to prioritise the assessment under the CFRAM of the Camac and Poddle catchments. This work has been progressed to the point where draft flood mapping and any identified viable options are being made available for public consultation in the week beginning on 24 June 2013. Advertisements have been placed in local papers, and I would strongly urge members of the public to attend these events and give their views.

In relation to flooding events in the past 10 years, I would suggest that the information is publicly available on the OPW website The Lucan and Clondalkin areas were affected by flooding arising from the intense rainfall event that occurred in the Dublin and Eastern region on 24 October 2011. This was a pluvial rather than a river based event and it affected primarily industrial property and roads in the areas. Apart from the Oct 2011 event, the only other flood event recorded on the website was one in October 2004 affecting Luttrellstown Golf Club.

I am aware of the problems some homeowners in Lucan and Clondalkin have been experiencing in relation to flood insurance cover. This is occurring in other areas of the country also. I have made it clear on many occasions that where the State, through the OPW or the local authorities, has completed flood defence works in an area, then those works should be taken into account by the insurance companies when assessing properties in those areas for flood insurance cover. For this reason I initiated discussions with the insurance industry with a view to establishing a system for providing information to the insurance companies on all completed OPW flood defence schemes. A Working Group comprising of officials of the OPW, Insure Ireland (formerly the Irish Insurance Federation) and representatives of the main household insurance companies has been engaged in discussions over the last six months to reach agreement on a basis for providing this information. The Working Group is very near completion of its work. I expect that an agreement with the insurance industry in this regard will be a clear positive step to address the problems which some householders are experiencing. The focus of the Working Group initially has been on completed OPW flood defence schemes but it will be addressing completed local authority works in the near future. It is important to bear in mind that while the insurance companies may agree to take the information on completed flood defence schemes into account, ultimately, it is a commercial decision on the part of the companies as to whether they offer flood cover and at what price.

I would point out also that the CFRAM process will produce a significant amount of information in relation to flood risk which will be available to the insurance industry also and will enable the industry to take decisions on the provision of cover based on the fullest possible assessment of that risk.

Those having difficulty with flood insurance cover can direct queries and complaints in this regard through Insurance Ireland's free Insurance Information Service.