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Red Cross in €30k help for flood families

DESPERATE flood victims in Dublin and Wicklow have so far received €30,000 from the Red Cross as they try to get back on their feet.

The charity issued an appeal in the wake of October 24's downpours and, to date, has been able to help 30 families.

The Irish Red Cross' head of national services, Fintan Breen, said donations started coming in straight away.

The money has gone towards helping people to buy items like food, clothes and white goods.

"We're seeing a range of situations. In one house, the roof of the kitchen collapsed in. There are also places where people are living in one room because the rest of the rooms were damaged or destroyed," Mr Breen said.

The charity has distributed an average of €1,000 per family, with 30 households so far in receipt of the money.

Mr Breen said the Red Cross is liaising with the Department of Social Protection and community welfare officers as it allocates the funds.

A spokeswoman for the organisation said all calls for assistance were being directed to the community welfare services who are carrying out initial assessments.



FLASH

"They are providing us with this information so that we can identify those most in need.

"It's impossible to say at the moment how many requests for help we have received as these calls, and donations, are still coming in," she added.

The flash floods that hit Dublin and Wicklow, claiming two lives, were among the worst to hit the region. In addition to the charitable donations, the Government announced a €10m fund to provide financial support to the victims.

Householders who suffered damage to their homes and contents can apply for assistance, which will be means-tested.

When contacted, the department told the Herald it was not possible yet to say how many applications had been made as they are being lodged through community officers.

Social Protection Minister Joan Burton said: "I am conscious that for some families it could be weeks if not months before the damage to their homes is fully apparent.

"I would like to reassure families that this humanitarian assistance scheme will be there for them in the months ahead."

comurphy@herald.ie


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