Statement following inter-departmental meeting on Donegal floods
An inter-departmental meeting took place today (25 August 2017) to consider the actions taken and progress made in dealing with flooding in an area of Donegal. While there has been constant and ongoing contact between the Departments and agencies since the flooding occurred, today afforded an opportunity to meet formally to consider the response from government departments and agencies. The meeting was attended by Ministers Damian English and Kevin Boxer Moran and chaired by Mr Sean Hogan, National Director of the National Directorate for Fire and Emergency Management.
Departments have been working together and with Donegal County Council to address the priority issues affecting households and businesses as well as infrastructural issues relating to roads, bridges and accesses. The meeting acknowledged the efforts by the communities, agencies and Departments who are on the ground dealing with the aftermath of the floods. A commitment was given, particularly to Donegal County Council, to the full support of the Government in dealing with this incident. The Department reaffirmed this commitment directly to Donegal County Council today.
There are a number of sources of assistance available to those affected. Firstly, an emergency humanitarian support scheme for small businesses, community, voluntary and sporting organisations will be put in place to deal with the after effects. The scheme will be a repeat of that rolled out in response to the flooding of winter 2015/16. The Red Cross has kindly agreed to administer the scheme with funding provided by central Government.
Financial support under the Department of Employment and Social Protection’s existing Humanitarian Assistance Scheme is also available. This support will be targeted at the immediate needs of households who have been directly impacted by the flooding (such as clothing & food) with further support available in the medium and long term (financial support for household items and structural repair) as the clean-up operations begin.
People and families in need of assistance are being advised to visit the local Intreo Centre where the Department’s Community Welfare Service Teams are waiting to assist them. To ensure assistance can be given quickly and effectively, the Department has redeployed staff to the offices serving the worst affected areas, notably the Inishowen Peninsula. Intreo is asking those in need of supports to visit its office however for those unable to travel to the offices, they can contact Buncrana Intreo office on (074) 9364600 or Ballybofey Intreo on (074) 9130490.
These schemes will be demand led and all necessary funding will be made available, as required.
In addition, if anyone requires assistance and has not yet contacted the relevant agency or Department, we would encourage them to do so. People can contact Donegal County Council on 074 9153900 or 074 9172288 for assistance.