Bishop appeals for urgent action to help flood victims
Affected people fragile, exhausted, exasperated, says C of I Bishop of Cork Paul Colton
Church of Ireland Bishop of Cork Paul Colton (left): “emergency funding required urgently”. Photograph: Matt Kavanagh
The Church of Ireland Bishop of Cork Paul Colton has called for “a renewed, determined and coordinated national effort to put in place as an immediate priority some of the long-awaited and long-promised solutions” to deal with floods in the state.“ As we approach a general election in due course this cannot be the stuff of party political point scoring or election promises; something needs to be done as soon as possible and by everyone working together for the common good,” he said.
For the second time in recent days Bishop Colton has been visiting communities in the diocese and county of Cork affected by floods. In Midleton where there has also been extensive flooding he met a family whose entire home and garden was full of water and was shocked to hear they had nowhere to go for the night.
Other residents were being transported to and from their houses in inflatable boats. As local hotels were full he phoned Midleton College, whose board he chairs, and asked that accommodation be provided in the dormatories. This was agreed “without hesitation,” he said.
In Bandon he met business people whose premises had been flooded on December 7th last as well as in 2009. “Some people are finding it difficult to be as resolute this time round,” he said. “I find many are more fragile, exhausted and exasperated to say the least. I met one man who had spent the previous 36 hours on his premises trying to save his livelihood. I met another who has lost everything now, twice. ”
Emergency funding was required urgently and “I don’t mean in weeks to come,” he said. He has appealed “to well-disposed individuals for financial support, and I have asked that special collections take place at all church services in these coming days” throughout the diocese, he said.