Taoiseach to chair a meeting of all agencies with responsibility for the Shannon in the morning

The meeting is in response to the continually rising water levels

As the water levels continue to rise, the Taoiseach will be chairing a meeting tomorrow morning with all agencies with responsibility for the Shannon.

Dozens of communities remain flooded or at risk of flooding around the country, following record rainfall during December.

The cabinet is expected to approve further funding for the clean-up operation tomorrow.

Over 1,700 Defence forces personnel have been involved in flood defence operations in recent weeks.

Lieutenant Colonel Kevin Campion of the Defence Forces says army personnel have taken on a range of roles:

Earlier today, President Michael D Higgins says flood victims do not want to be used as a political football ahead of a general election.

It follows comments by Independent TD Michael Fitzmaurice, who has criticised President Higgins for signing the EU Habitats Directive into law in 1997 while he was minister.

The Roscommon-South Leitrim TD says the directive is preventing 'badly needed' dredging and drainage work on rivers and streams around the country.

President Higgins is visiting flooded communities in Galway and Wexford.

Speaking in Labane in South Galway, President Higgins praised locals for their spirit - and said environmental concerns must not be set aside for short-term flood relief.