‘Boxer’ Mo­ran calls on Govern­ment to set up an emer­gency agency

The Irish Mail on Sunday - - NEWS -

A JU­NIOR min­is­ter has called on the Govern­ment to set up a ded­i­cated agency for emer­gency sit­u­a­tions sim­i­lar to many other Euro­pean coun­tries.

Min­is­ter of State for the OPW Kevin ‘Boxer’ Mo­ran said the State re­sponse to cat­a­strophic events such as ma­jor flood­ing emergencies needs to be han­dled by a sin­gle agency.

‘This would en­sure help can be on the ground within hours,’ he said.

‘This is par­tic­u­larly im­por­tant where houses have be­come un­in­hab­it­able and peo­ple need help ur­gently.

‘The agency would over­see emer­gency ser­vices dur­ing nat­u­ral dis­as­ters and should con­sist of Gar­daí, De­fence Forces, Civil De­fence, the HSE and se­lected de­part­ments”, the Long­ford-West­meath TD warned.

‘It would also meet on a reg­u­lar ba­sis with the aim of as­sess­ing mis­sion readi­ness for ma­jor emergencies,’ he added.

‘It has be­come very clear to me, in wit­ness­ing at first-hand a num­ber of ma­jor emergencies in re­cent years, that it is no longer the best ap­proach to leave all the re­spon­si­bil­ity on the shoul­ders of the lo­cal author­i­ties.’

Min­is­ter Mo­ran also said the dis­tri­bu­tion of fi­nan­cial aid to dis­tressed fam­i­lies should hap­pen rapidly.

He said: ‘A ded­i­cated agency would have the per­son­nel to get on the ground swiftly.’

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