Environment Minister Eamonn Ryan said Ireland must prepare for further damage from flooding next year.
Towns such as Middleton in East Cork were severely affected by severe flooding during Storm Babette in mid-October. Immediately afterward, calls for the introduction of a flood relief plan arose.
Mr. Ryan visited the town and said he was ready to come up with plans for a flood relief plan and saw no reason not to move forward with them.
However, he said the surrounding geography would likely pose a problem, as there are six different flood relief zones surrounding the town.
In a recent interview, Mr Ryan was asked whether Ireland expected to experience further flooding in 2024.
“Unfortunately, it’s possible. What happened to the world this year was unexpected in terms of average temperature increases of more than 1.5 degrees Celsius,” he said.
He said Ireland was likely to face a “difficult year” in 2024, with weather disruptions occurring across the country.
Mr Ryan said that alongside reducing emissions, there was also a need to focus on climate adaptation to protect people from the effects of climate change. He specifically cited the need for nature-based solutions.
“I think it was a game changer in terms of understanding this.
“It’s not just about culverting rivers and concrete embankments. It’s about how we treat upstream rivers, how we manage water sources, how we use natural floodplain areas to manage grasslands, forest management, It all depends on how we control water through peatland restoration.
“I think the Department of Public Works is starting to understand that as well.”
The latest figures show that a total of €3.25 million has been allocated to 164 companies affected by Storm Babette, with hundreds more companies continuing to be assessed.
Applications for the emergency relief scheme have since closed, but three-quarters of all claims are coming from Cork due to the extensive damage seen in Middleton, Glanmire and Carrigtohill.