LABOUR TD CIarán Lynch has welcomed the fact that Sean Hogan, the newly appointed Chair of the National Emergency Response Coordinating Committee is to appear before the Oireachtas Environment Committee this week.
“I am somewhat concerned that Mr Hogan is being pushed out front by his political masters to take the flak for their failure to get to grips with the current adverse weather conditions, just as they did during the catastrophic flooding in November.
“I am also mindful of the fact that this is a particularly busy time for Mr Hogan and that we shouldn’t detain him unduly on Tuesday. Having said all that, Mr Hogan’s presence at the committee will provide a useful opportunity to tease out some of the issues that have arisen in recent months and in recent days.
“I will be particularly interested to hear about any recommendations that Mr Hogan would have with regard to the manner in which authorities responded to the disastrous flooding a few weeks ago, and his initial impression of the Government response to the current cold snap.
“I will also be asking him about how the NERCC is supposed to work and more importantly perhaps, how it actually works. I would like to ask him about the precise role of committee and of its members, the reporting structures in place and the committee’s communications protocols.
“I will be looking for assurances that this committee has a clear function, with real teeth in terms of directing government response to emergency situations, and that it does not simply end up as another unaccountable quango,” he said.