The cleaning of rivers and drains in rural areas would be a major help in the battle against flooding. There are far too many regulatory bodies with responsibility for water levels and that one body should be given that job into the future. People in rural areas should be allowed to keep their drains and rivers cleaned like they were able to do years ago. Now we have daft rules and regulations from the EU about habitats and wildlife that are preventing this happening. The farmers and people who live in rural Ireland have huge respect for habitats and wildlife but there is no point having rules and regulations if the habitats we are talking about are flooded. We now have a situation where slatted sheds and cow houses are flooded and slurry is flowing into rivers and lakes as a result. There isn’t much environmental sense in that. We have to get real and tell our European masters that we are well able to manage our own land when it comes to flooding. I acknowledge that other flood defences such as walls and embankments will be needed in certain areas to combat ongoing flooding but in a lot of cases when it comes to agricultural land, keeping drains and rivers cleaned and water courses opened on rural roads would save a lot of problems.
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