Fianna Fáil TD for Donegal Charlie McConalogue has called on the Government to give a clear commitment that all victims of this week’s devastating floods will be entitled to emergency funding to help them get back on their feet.
The funding announced this morning excludes businesses and community organisations which have been flooded, and which are facing major clean-ups and repair work.
Deputy McConalogue explained, “I have spent the past two days visiting homes, businesses, community / sporting organisations and farmers across the Inishowen peninsula, and talking to people struggling to cope with the aftermath of these devastating floods. It is soul destroying to see people’s livelihoods completely destroyed and community facilities washed away in a night.
“The immediate priority is to cater for those who have had their homes flooded. The announcement of an emergency fund to which they can apply for help is welcome and I would encourage those affected to immediately make contact with their community welfare officer.
“However, I am extremely concerned about the lack of support for the many businesses, which have been ravaged. The funding announcement this morning does not include business owners – many of whom have no insurance. These people need to get their shops and businesses back up and running again. The past few days have been extremely traumatic and they are anxious to get confirmation that they will get assistance from the Government to help them get back on their feet. The Government needs to clarify immediately that there will be supports for them.
“Minister Moran on his visit to the Peninsula has given a commitment that the Government will come through with funding support for bridges and roads. It is important that this funding is delivered in the coming days and weeks in a manner that ensures all transport infrastructure is fully repaired.
“Many community halls, sports facilities and tourism amenities have been badly damaged by the flood waters and will need Government aid to help them rebuild and reopen. The progress, which has been made over the past number of years developing many of the facilities in the affected areas, was washed away in a matter of hours. It is crucial that the Government comes forward with an assurance that money will be made available to repair the damage that has been done. I have sought assurances from Minister Moran, that he will clarify the situation in relation to funding, once he reports back to his Government colleagues on the extent of the damage.
“Many farmers have also experienced significant damage in relation to crops, stock and farm land and it is important that the Minister for Agriculture becomes engaged in the response and ensures that financial supports are provided in these cases.
“Ministers Moran and Ross visits to the area are welcome but it is now essential that the Government recognises the extent of the devastation in Inishowen and ensures that funding is provided to families, businesses and community organisations to repair the damage that has been caused”.