The Sinn Féin candidate for the EU Midlands North West Constituency, Matt Carthy, has called on the government to provide the necessary funding for flood-stricken areas along the west coast without delay.
This must include financial support for home owners and farmers who have had property damaged or destroyed, he said.
Speaking at a public meeting in Achill Island, Co. Mayo last night Carthy said:
“Some weeks now have passed since areas along the west coast were devastated by a spate of storms and floods.
“Communities have been all but abandoned and left to deal with the consequences of this extreme weather on their own.
“I recently appealed to the government to apply for emergency funding from the EU Solidarity Fund. Two weeks later and little has happened. This fund in itself is flawed and discriminates against rural areas with poor infrastructure. The threshold of damage that would need to be reached in order to avail of the fund is too high for socially deprived rural areas. This results in those communities being unable to draw down the fund.
“I have seen first-hand the devastating damage done all along the west Coast and spoken with farmers and fishermen who have had their livelihoods swept away overnight.
“The government needs to make finance available, regardless of where from.
“Immediate action is needed to deal with this damage and to reimburse those who have had their equipment, land and property destroyed as well as ensuring that public infrastructure is repaired without delay.”