Dáil Éireann - Volume 435 - 02 November, 1993

Written Answers. - County Wexford Flood Damage.

34. Mr. Byrne asked the Minister for Finance the progress, if any, that has been made in settling claims for damages by persons in the Bridgetown-Kilmore area of County Wexford against the Office of Public Works arising from flooding of the Office of Public Works-operated drainage system in the area; when the flooding occurred; when the Office of Public Works was first contacted regarding compensation; the steps, if any, the Office of Public Works has taken thus far to evaluate the claim against it; the cost to the Office of Public Works of settling the Rowe case, in similar circumstances in the same area; if he will allow moneys to be similarly spent on court costs in this instance; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

Minister of State at the Department of Finance (Mr. Dempey): The Office of Public Works has been advised by one landowner that he intends to seek compensation arising out of alleged flooding of his land in the Bridgetown-Kilmore area of County Wexford in May this year. The Office of Public Works was first contacted regarding compensation by the [602] landowner in early June. Subsequent correspondence from the landowner has indicated that the amount of the claim is still being compiled and will require data for September-October 1993.

The Commissioners of Public Works have undertaken an extensive review of records to establish information relevant to the case, in order that they will be in a position to respond quickly if and when a detailed claim is presented. That examination of records is continuing and has been accorded a high priority.

The Rowe v. Commissioners of Public Works case was settled by agreement and details of the settlement are confidential between the Commissioners and the claimant. The circumstances of that case were entirely different from the case which is the subject of this question. The Commissioners of Public Works will examine any claim presented in this case on its merits in accordance with the relevant facts. While the Commissioners would have no wish to see the matter end up in the courts it would not be open to them to settle a claim which they did not consider justified simply to avoid that consequence and, to that extent, it may be a matter for the claimant to decide whether or not the matter is pursued in the courts.