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Clontarf Labour Councillor Jane Horgan-Jones has strongly criticised Junior Minister Brian Hayes for his comments that Clontarf residents lacked maturity in dealing with the issue of flood defences for their area.

Horgan-Jones said: “Minister Hayes’ comments not only show how woefully uninformed he is about the issue of flooding in Clontarf, but also displays a disdain for residents who are willing to engage meaningfully on local issues.”

Speaking in the Dail today, Minister Hayes said that 4,000 people had protested against flood defences in Clontarf and that “more maturity” would be needed in future.

Horgan-Jones continued: “If Minister Hayes had paid even a modicum of attention to the debate around Clontarf flood defences, he would know that the plans put forward were not sustainable. Even the slightest glance at them would show that many superior alternatives were available.”

She said: “Myself and Aodhán Ó Ríordáin TD remain committed to identifying a sustainable, cost-effective solution that safeguards against coastal flooding while preserving the unique character of the promenade. After the recent flooding I joined many Clontarf residents in a large scale effort to clean up the promenade – that is the type of community spirit that exists here and that is unfairly undermined by comments such as these from Minister Hayes.”

In relation to recent flooding, Horgan-Jones said: “Perhaps if Minister Hayes had bothered informing himself on the debate, his comments would carry more water.”

“Minister Hayes is the one displaying immaturity here, in his simplistic line of argument and his condescension to residents and local politicians.”

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Hayes "woefully uninformed" on Clontarf flood defences - Cllr. Jane Horgan-Jones