Flood-hit Irish communities receive Government aid

Communities affected by the recent spate of serious flooding in Ireland are to receive additional funding from central government to help them foot the bill for emergency services and recovery.

On December 30, Environment Minister John Gormley announced a €16.5m package which would be shared among the local authorities in the most severely affected areas.

Individual awards ranged from just a few thousand Euros for single town councils to several million for hard-hit counties.

The lion’s share of the funding went to County Cork (almost €5.8m with a further €3.1m for the town of Cork itself), with county councils in Galway (€3m), Clare (€1.1m) and Roscommon (€1m) also receiving major funding.

“In what was a difficult time for many businesses and households, I am appreciative of the professional and rapid response of local authorities and their staff at all levels,” said Mr Gormley.

The Minister said that the funding is ring fenced for meeting current costs incurred by local authorities such as emergency staff, emergency materials and equipment, additional operational costs associated with water services, and immediate costs arising in relation to social housing – including clean-up and temporary accommodation.

He said: “I am providing this emergency funding in recognition of the immediate and unanticipated expenditure incurred by local authorities in responding to this situation and the difficulties this posed for local authorities in light of the constraints on local government finances at this time.”

The Minister indicated that his Department had made the payments to affected local authorities in the week before Christmas.

Sam Bond

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