Almost €2 million in emergency funding has been made available for the victims of the recent floods in Laois.
Large parts of Mountmellick were completely destroyed by a freak weather event last Wednesday while Portarlington and Clonaslee also suffered.
Laois TD and Minister for Justice and Equality Charlie Flanagan has confirmed that the Cabinet has approved the establishment an emergency support scheme for those businesses and community/voluntary/sporting bodies affected by the floods.
Speaking after yesterday morning’s Cabinet meeting, Minister Flanagan confirmed the news.
He said: “The recent exceptional heavy rainfall and flooding on November 22 and 23, particularly in the Mountmellick, Clonaslee and Portarlington areas caused a very difficult situation for many small business and community/voluntary and sporting organisations in these areas.
“I visited the town of Mountmellick in the immediate aftermath of the flooding and saw the devastation caused in the wake of the flooding to properties in the Manor Road, Cloncannon and Davitt Road.
“I am happy to confirm that, this morning the Cabinet approved the establishment an emergency support scheme for those businesses and community/voluntary/sporting bodies affected by the floods, many of who, through no fault of their own, could not obtain flood insurance, but experienced flood damage to their premises.
“The Government has moved to have this scheme operational as quickly as possible and in a manner which is designed to be straight forward to best assist those who have been affected.
“The scheme is a humanitarian support contribution towards the costs of returning business, sport and community premises to their pre-flood condition including the replacement of flooring, fixtures and fittings and damaged stock where relevant.“
The scheme, which will be undertaken by the Department of Defence, will be similar to the one established in late 2015, following Storm Desmond and in August this year, following the flooding in Donegal.
Minister Flanagan continued: “The Scheme which is estimated at up to €2 million, will be allocated through the Irish Red Cross who will administer the Scheme and have already made the application forms available on their website.
“The scheme will have two stages:
“1. The first stage will commence immediately and will provide a contribution of up to €5,000, depending on the scale of damage incurred. It is anticipated that this will meet the needs for the majority of those affected. This will commence immediately and the intent is to process payments as speedily as possible.
“2. In the event that the premises have incurred significant damages above €5,000, the second stage will provide a means to seek further support. The total level of support available for both stages combined will be capped at €20,000
“This Scheme is in addition to The Humanitarian Assistance Scheme which was activated last week by the Department of Social Protection.
“This scheme is available to assist people whose homes are damaged by flooding. The scheme is means tested and assistance is not provided for losses covered by insurance.
“It is a very difficult time for those affected by the flooding. I urge those people affected and who are eligible, to apply for these schemes.
“I wish to pay special tribute to the members of the Fire Service, Laois County Council, Civil Defence and the countless volunteers who worked diligently throughout the night pumping water in an effort to protect businesses and homes from further damage.
“It is important that people get back into their businesses and homes as quickly as possible.”
You can apply here: https://www.redcross.ie/news-and-events/laois-humanitarian-support-scheme/