The Minister for the Environment raised the impact of recent flooding on communities at a meeting with the European Union's Environment Commissioner in Brussels.

Minister Alan Kelly briefed Commissioner Karmenu Vella on the Governments response to the floods.

The meeting was arranged as part of the package of measures in reaction to the River Shannon flooding announced earlier this month by Government.

In a statement from the Department of the Environment following the meeting, Mr Kelly and Mr Vella agreed to cooperate on sharing information relating to alleviating flood where risks where the EU has legitimate interests.

Mr Kelly said: "Now that the floods have somewhat subsided, it is time to put in place the measures to make communities feel protected and its hugely important to have the Commissioner's support for our actions.

"It is quite likely that we will be seeking to use the public interest grounds to advance key projects in protecting our town's and hopefully this new process will allow for that.

"The meeting was a further opportunity to brief the Commission on our recent experiences and to get support for what needs to be done.

"It is not a case of EU laws not allowing us to do what we need, but where there are legitimate river basin issues as there are on the Shannon, early engagement with and support from the EU will make our flood response run much smoother."

Mr Vella reiterated Mr Kelly's claim that EU legislation is not are not an impediment to dealing with the flooding issue.

In a statement he said EU environmental legislation is "a significant part of a sustainable solution and central to effective planning."

He also welcomed Mr Kelly's "commitment to act now and put in place the necessary measures to manage risks from flooding and ensure effective and timely responses in the future".