Independent inquiry must shed light on who made what decisions when
An independent inquiry into the floods that engulfed Cork, which cost millions of euro in damages and devastated the lives of thousands, will be fundamental in determining the reasons why the flooding occurred, allowing measures to be taken to prevent further occurrences from happening in the future, according to Fine Gael Cork Senator, Jerry Buttimer.
“Fine Gael has called for an independent inquiry into the causes which lead to some houses in the city being swallowed up by water and half the houses being left with no running water, causing untold devastation to the lives of thousands.
“The people of Cork want and deserve answers about what decisions were taken by whom and when. They require answers from the ESB about the release of water from Inniscarra and the effect that these decisions had on the overall situation in the city.
“They also require answers from the Minister for the Environment and the Minister of State with responsibility for the Office of Public Works as to why no early warning system was in place to alert people about what was coming down the line. Questions must be answered about the means and methods employed by the ESB and Cork City and County Council in informing the people of Cork of the impending flood.
“The events of the past week demand a national independent investigation into what exactly happened. The facts relating to who was responsible for alerting the general public and local business people about the decision to release the water into the city must be unequivocally determined.
“This is not about apportioning blame but about ensuring that a system is put in place to prevent a situation such as this from happening again. Without doubt we are in need of an improved communication notification system.
“The Government’s decision to cost and tender for a national flood alert system, having been pressed on the matter by Fine Gael, is to be welcomed. However, decisions made by the ESB and the local authorities with regard to the part each played in whatever decisions were taken to keep the people of Cork abreast of the situation have yet to be uncovered and resolved.”