The Office of Public Works (OPW) is the body responsible for flood risk assessment and mitigation of flood risk. I understand that it has recently completed the Catchment Flood Risk Assessment and Management (CFRAM) programme which identifies areas vulnerable to fluvial flooding risk. OPW is working directly with local authorities in relation to flood risk management projects and my Department has no role in relation to these flood plans.
When flooding occurs, the Government approved Framework for Major Emergency Management (2006) designates responsibility for coordination of the local response to the relevant Local Authorities.
The Government decision which approved the Framework also mandated the creation of an Inter-Department National Steering Group for Major Emergency Management. My Department chairs and supports this Group, while the Principal Response Agencies (PRAs), the Department of Justice and Equality, the Department of Health, An Garda Síochána, the HSE and Local Authorities, are all represented on this National Steering Group.
The National Steering Group for Major Emergency Management prepared and approved a guidance document entitled “Guide to Flood Emergencies”, which includes a template for Flood Plans to assist Local Authorities and the other PRAs in their preparedness for responding to flooding emergencies.
The objective of a Flood Emergency Plan is to ensure effective and early response to any flooding emergency and co-ordination among the PRAs when flooding emergencies occur. This template was compiled with input and collaboration from OPW, Met Éireann, and the PRAs, drawing from international good practice and experience of flooding events.
Each local authority creates a Flood Plan relevant to its local flood risk and response capabilities for when a flooding emergency may occur.