Fine Gael TD for Mayo, Michelle Mulherin, has welcomed new measures introduced by Government this week to tackle the aftermath of the flooding, including the roll-out of a pilot flood protection scheme in Crossmolina.
Speaking this week Dep Mulherin said: "The Government will launch a pilot scheme of individual home protection measures in Crossmolina. This pilot scheme will mean that councils in these areas can seek funding from the OPW for individual home protection measures. I am delighted this has been confirmed on foot of the commitment given by Junior Minister with responsibility for OPW, Simon Harris, at the public meeting I hosted in Crossmolina just before the Christmas period. It is empowering people in the short term to defend their premises from flooding, while construction of planned flood defences in the longer term are awaited. I have requested the Minister to provide a similar scheme to be rolled out to affected business premises and to other areas including Ballina, Foxford and South Mayo.
"The Red Cross Scheme, established to assist small businesses that are not insured against flooding, will be extended to include sports and community facilities. The scheme makes up to €20,000 available to eligible premises. The first stage provides a contribution of up to €5,000 and, depending on the scale of damage, further support of up to €15,000 is available. The application form can be downloaded at www.redcross.ie/emergency-humanitarian-flooding-assistance/emergency, or by emailing [email protected], and people can also the Red Cross helpline at (01 ) 6424600.
"While this is very much to be welcomed, I am calling for rental properties and schools to also be included in this scheme. A number of rental properties in Crossmolina have been rendered uninhabitable by flood damage. Tenants understandably have vacated these houses, and landlords are left with a big bill to clean and repair their properties but without having any flood insurance. At the moment they fall between two stools as they neither qualify for Government financial assistance, either through the Red Cross Scheme or the Department of Social Protection. These landlords should be treated like any business and assistance provided. Also Richmond NS premises experienced flood damage and they are now counting their loss and need assistance too."
She went on to say: "The extra €10 million announced for the flooding clean-up fund, bringing to €18 million the total available to local authorities, is very welcome and much needed. Driving around the county the destruction to many roads on account of the prolonged storms and rain is glaring. I have been in contact with Mayo County Council and am assured that the council is undertaking an audit of all roads in the county, including local roads, which will be submitted for funding in the coming weeks. We have one of the longest road networks in the country per head of population and I am working to ensure we get our fair slice of the cake to repair these roads."