Wednesday 22 May 2019

More than 60 families given financial aid with 40 securing emergency housing after Donegal floods

Local men in Clonmany, Donegal set up a Car Wash in aid of Flood Relief Fund. Clonmany, Co. Donegal. Picture: Caroline Quinn
Local men in Clonmany, Donegal set up a Car Wash in aid of Flood Relief Fund. Clonmany, Co. Donegal. Picture: Caroline Quinn
General view of local volunteer helping to rebuild embankment washed away at Wm. Smyth & Sons (Smyth's Garage) on Tuesday night. Ballylosky, Carndonagh, Co. Donegal. Picture: Caroline Quinn Newsdesk Newsdesk

Over 60 families have been given financial aid since last week’s floods, with more than 40 families securing emergency housing.

Donegal and parts of the north west were left devastated by floods last week when more than a month's rain fell in just 24 hours.

More than 500 families in the north-west are dealing with catastrophic damage to homes and businesses in the wake of flash floods last Tuesday night.

This evening Minister of State and local Donegal TD, Joe McHugh, said dozens of families have already been supported.

And he said further supports are being made available.

“Since Thursday morning when the Humanitarian Assistance Scheme was activated, over 60 households have received financial assistance under the scheme from the Department of Social Protection,” Minister McHugh said.

“Staff from across the division including Sligo have been travelling in to assist in the areas most affected and are also volunteering to cover emergency on call over evenings and weekends.

“The Department had a presence in the Buncrana GAA club today along with a number of other agencies involved and are available to assist anyone affected.”

Minister McHugh added that cash payments are there for all those who lost clothes and possessions in the flood.

“We would especially encourage anyone who might not have required assistance under stage one of the scheme to get in contact via the Buncrana and Carndonagh offices as we move from stage one into stage two.”

The scheme is open to all including self-employed:

  • Stage 1 is to provide emergency income support payments (food, clothing and personal items) in the immediate aftermath of the event. These payments are made immediately to the families and individuals affected.
  • Stage 2 generally involves the replacement of white goods, basic furniture items and other essential household items. It is not until the flood water abates and houses dry out that the full extent of the damage to homes will become known and we can begin to make these payments to the people affected.
  • Stage 3 is to identify what longer term financial support or works are required. It could take some time before this stage of response commences and this involves a cross Departmental/Agency response. Works carried out can include plastering, dry-lining, relaying of floors, electrical re-wiring and painting.

On Saturday night, Kevin 'Boxer' Moran, Minister of State for the OPW and Flood Relief, said it was time for the Government to follow other European nations and establish a single agency that would be responsible for the security and medical responses in the case of a national emergency.

Mr Moran said the State response to catastrophic events such as major floods needed to be handled and co-ordinated within a single Government department.

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