Accountants on form for flood victims

Sat, Aug 4, 2012, 01:00

ACCOUNTANCY FIRMS in Clonakilty, Co Cork, have pledged free support to flood victims applying for payments under a €10 million relief fund.

Three firms responded to a request from flood support groups established after a flash flood swept through the town on June 28th.

Accountants will assist residents and business owners to fill out detailed application forms to qualify for flood relief payments under the Government’s Humanitarian Flood Fund announced two weeks ago.

Cllr Cionnaith Ó Súilleabháin, the town’s mayor, said some elderly residents in particular needed help to fill out the forms.

“We have found that there are some people, particularly the elderly, who are not applying for this Government fund because they feel intimidated and nervous in relation to some questions on the application form. I have no doubt that many of these people, if they applied, would qualify and would receive funding from the €10 million special fund set up for Cork flood victims,” he said.

The issue was raised at a joint committee meeting of flood support groups where it was decided that professional assistance would encourage more applicants to fill out the “complicated forms”. “We felt that if these applicants were able to receive guidance from professional people in a confidential setting, who would assist them in filling up the application form, it would be of great benefit and comfort to them, and would mean the difference between applying and not,” Mr Ó Súilleabháin said.

Clonakilty-based accountants Rosemarie Lahiff, Timothy Coughlan and Séamus O’Brien have offered their services to flood victims without charge.

Applicants requiring help are asked to contact the participating accountants and make an appointment to avail of the service.

Meanwhile, Cork County Council has issued a call to business owners affected by the June 28th flooding to submit information to assess the scale of the damage as part of a proposed compensation fund on behalf of the Department of Environment, Community and Local Government.

The local authority is inviting business owners to calculate the estimated cost of damages and monetary loss resulting from the closure of businesses.

Submissions will include a description of the nature of the damage and whether property was insured.

County manager Martin Riordan has asked for submissions to be made before 5pm on August 5th, through the council’s online questionnaire ( www.corkcoco.ie) or in writing to the corporate affairs department.