Cabinet agrees €70m funding for storm damage

Funding to include road and pier repairs, as well as fixing coastal protection

Brian Kenny from the Dept. of the Environment Community and Local Government, Sean Hogan Chairman of the National Emergency Coordination Group and Ger Fleming from Met Eireann briefing media on the adverse weather conditions. Photograph: Alan Betson / The Irish Times

Brian Kenny from the Dept. of the Environment Community and Local Government, Sean Hogan Chairman of the National Emergency Coordination Group and Ger Fleming from Met Eireann briefing media on the adverse weather conditions. Photograph: Alan Betson / The Irish Times

Tue, Feb 11, 2014, 17:40

The Cabinet today agreed to provide an additional €70 million towards damage caused by recent flooding and bad weather.

Government members discussed the cost of funding for flood victims at this morning’s cabinet meeting. Details of the funding are expected to be announced by the Department of the Environment.

Labour TD Ciaran Lynch said the funding was “ targeted at those areas where serious storm damage occurred in December and January.”

The figure was “based on local authority estimates on the extent of the damage to local infrastructure and communities,” he said.

The funding includes €16.2 million for restoration of damaged roads, €19.6 million for repair of existing coastal protection infrastructure, €7 million for piers and harbours that have been damaged and €6 million for tourism infrastructure, he said.

“A further €12 million has been allocated to other local authority and community infrastructure, in addition to €10 million for other transport and OPW infrastructure,” he added.

It is in addition to €25 million in funding already announced. “There’s €25 million to deal with the level of distress,” Minister for Public Expenditure Brendan Howlin said this morning on his way into the Cabinet meeting.

Reports over the weekend have indicated that the total bill for the recent flood damage could reach at least €100 million.

“I have decided today to allocate from that half a million euro to the Red Cross and a further half a million to the St Vincent de Paul society so that they can have as many vehicles as possible to give relief to people who need cash for humanitarian needs,” said Mr Howlin.

Cork city centre suffered severe flood damage last week, while 10m waves crashed over houses in Glandore in west Cork. Houses and businesses in Youghal, Carriagaline, Clonakilty, Skibbereen and Bantry were also flooded by a combination of high tides, strong southeasterly winds and heavy rains.

Brian Kenny, national director of fire and emergency management, said on Saturday that slow-moving rivers, including the Shannon, Barrow, Nore and Blackwater, were already swollen and at serious risk of overflowing. Mr Kenny said that people swimming in flooded waters, which can contain sewage, did so “with a lot of risk.”

“Flood water by its very nature carries a lot of bacteria,” he said.

Met Éireann issued a Status Orange national weather warning this morning with snow forecast in several parts of the country including the midlands, north and west.

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