I thank the Deputy for the question. In accordance with the framework for major emergency management, primary responsibility for responding to severe weather events, such as the recent storms and subsequent flooding, rests with the three designated principal response agencies: the relevant local authority, the Garda Síochána and the HSE. In accordance with agreed arrangements, all the available resources of the Defence Forces are made available on request to support the principal response agencies. At national level, the Department of Defence and the Defence Forces are represented on the Government task force on emergency planning. This ensures the fullest co-ordination and co-operation in the event of an emergency. The major emergency plans that have been deployed by local and regional authorities identify the procedures for requesting assistance from the Defence Forces. The role of the Defence Forces in these circumstances depends on the nature of the incident and the type of assistance requested. In November 2015, each local authority was reminded of the range of capabilities the Defence Forces can bring to emergency responses. They were also advised of the local call-out arrangements. The call-out procedure provides for contact with the Defence Forces 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. During the recent period of severe weather from 4 December 2015, the Defence Forces responded positively to all requests for support received from all three principal response agencies. Most requests were received from local authorities, in line with their central role in the flood response. The extent of the support provided was considerable. The Defence Forces were deployed to multiple locations in counties Donegal, Sligo, Mayo, Galway, Kerry, Clare, Kilkenny, Wexford, Offaly, Tipperary, Westmeath, Limerick, Roscommon and Cork.