Kelly: Flood victims demand independent inquiry
Mrs Kelly said: “People living on the shores of Lough Neagh have been left confused, disappointed and angry by the litany of excuses and the constant equivocation that has come from the Rivers Agency in response to the flooding that devastated local homes and businesses over recent weeks.
“They were told that the flooding was caused by exceptional weather raising the water level of Lough Neagh but after a noticeably dry autumn and winter up until then, many are asserting that Lough Neagh’s level’s would have been greatly decreased and more than able to cope with the additional rainfall.
“The simple fact is that the majority of people affected by flooding across Northern Ireland from farmers to fishermen and families simply do not agree with the Rivers Agency’s assessment. They are sceptical because river maintenance in the area has been totally insufficient with drainage systems ineffective and dredging long overdue.
“They have also been assured by the Rivers Agency that this would never happen again, but how can they possibly guarantee this unless the floods were due to human error? Indeed, during the flooding many were asking why the lock was not lowered to counter the rising water levels.
“The lacklustre response from some Executive Ministers added insult to injury. I am supporting the call from those affected for an independent inquiry into these floods to ensure that their homes and business were not destroyed as a result of gross mismanagement.”