Regional Development Minister Conor Murphy today met with officials from both Roads Service and NIW to review the response to date and ensure resources are in place to deal with the predicted continued cold conditions.
The Minister said: “The recent period has witnessed the coldest prolonged spell for almost 30 years and is continuing to break records. Daytime temperatures have struggled to get above freezing and temperatures as low as minus 10 degrees have been experienced.
“Roads Service has been working tirelessly night and day to ensure the main network on which 80% of traffic travels remains open. 288 personnel are on standby every night to salt main roads across the North. Already almost 50,000 tonnes of salt have been used, which is almost equivalent to the annual average and is a clear indication of the scale of the task.
“Roads Service were well prepared and as well as ensuring stock piles were full at the start of the year, they ordered more before this recent cold spell and are taking delivery of an extra 1000 tonnes a day. Road safety is a priority and resources will continue to be made available to continue to deal with this prolonged cold spell. Even with this additional resource Roads Service will continue to closely monitor the weather conditions and any impact this may continue to have on services.
“I would like to personally pay tribute to the teams of workers on the ground, who have been working around the clock to keep the main road networks open and replenishing salt piles and grit boxes for those areas not on the salted network.
“NIW have dealt with almost 14,000 calls, tankered 13 million litres of water and repaired burst mains to ensure that supplies could be reconnected.
“I would also like to appeal to motorists to heed the continuing extreme weather conditions. Even with the most careful and thorough planning and use of state-of-the-art technology, this is a battle against nature and in exceptional winter conditions there is bound to be some disruption. Drive with care even if roads have been salted, be prepared for road conditions changing over short distances and take care when overtaking gritters.”
Derry Sinn Féin MLA, Raymond McCartney, has expressed concern for the safety of five young Derry men travelling on the ‘Viva Palestina’ medical aid convoy to Gaza which is currently detained in the port of El Arish on the Egypt / Gaza border.
Raymond McCartney said
“Sinn Féin has been in contact with family members of the Derry men involved in the medical aid for Gaza ‘Viva Palestina’ Convoy. The families are obviously very concerned about the circumstances pertaining in El Arish where there are unconfirmed reports of confrontation between the participants of the convoy and riot police. We share in that concern. Sinn Féin has been informed by family members that they have spoken to their relatives on the convoy and that although none of them have been injured there are injuries among some of the convoy participants.
“The five young Derry men are part of the ‘Viva Plaestina’ Convoy travelling to Gaza in an attempt to deliver much needed medical aid to the area which is presently under an Israeli imposed blockade. It is a humanitarian relief effort which deserves our support.
“Whatever tensions may have arisen between the convoy and the authorities in El Arish it is essential that we focus our attention on the innocent victims in Gaza who urgently need this medical aid. Leaders of the convoy and the authorities should seek to resolve any difficulties in a peaceful manner and one which respects the human rights of those Palestinians living under siege in Gaza.
“I will be keeping in close contact with the relatives of the convoy members and will support efforts to ensure the men’s safety and well-being. Sinn Féin at the highest level will also be in touch with the Irish government urging their intervention with the authorities in El Arish calling for respect for the humanitarian nature of this convoy.”
Sinn Féin Dáil leader and Cavan/Monaghan TD Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin has demanded action from the Minister for Communications Eamon Ryan and the Minister for Justice Dermot Ahern on a new Garda digital radio system which is blocking TV reception for thousands of householders in the Border region.
Deputy Ó Caoláin said:
“I have been contacted by people throughout my constituency who have lost their TV reception since before Christmas as a result of the installation of the new TETRA digital mobile radio system in Garda stations. That the new system has caused this widespread disruption to households is confirmed by the Commission for Communication Regulation (COMREG) which has issued a public information bulletin on the matter.
“There is anger and exasperation at this development which came without any warning. To add insult to injury the COMREG bulletin places the onus on householders to rectify the problem themselves with technical adjustments to their TV reception equipment which can cost up to €250 to purchase and install.
“There is no argument about the need for an efficient and secure communications system for the Garda Síochána. The issue is the high-handed approach of those responsible for its introduction with no consideration for its effect on the thousands of households in the vicinity of Garda stations and other sites where TETRA base stations are installed.
“I am advised, though this is unconfirmed, that such was the disruption caused in the town of Emyvale, Co. Monaghan, over Christmas that Gardaí at the local station turned off the TETRA system so that people’s TV reception would be restored. Obviously that is no long-term solution.
“I have written to both the Minister for Communications Eamon Ryan and the Minister for Justice Dermot Ahern urging that this matter be addressed. They need to explain if the problem was anticipated when the TETRA system was in the planning stage and why steps were not taken to avoid disruption to householders. Measures must now be put in place to either address the problem at source by means of a technical adjustment to the TETRA system, if possible, or to assist householders to meet the cost of the purchase and installation of the special filters required to restore their TV reception.” ENDS
Sinn Fein MLA for west Belfast Fra McCann has written to Social Development Minister Margaret Ritchie, seeking her to reverse her decision, which bars the maintenance of heating systems for those most in need.
Speaking on the issue Mr McCann said;
“Until recently the housing executive could have carried out maintenance on their heating systems for people on different types of benefits, sadly this has now ceased and many people are now refused help because of a change in policy implemented by Minister Margaret Ritchie and her department.
Under the warm home's scheme people could have applied for assistance to have their heating systems maintained but because of a change in the criteria this has stopped and many thousands of people face a cold winter because of this and are now unable to afford to maintain their systems due to this change in policy.
I have written to the Minister asking that she urgently review this decision.
At a time when she is announcing cold weather payments, many of those most in need sit with broken heating systems and will not be able to afford to pay for the repair of the system. The Minister needs to explain why, on one hand she claims credit for a cold weather payment but also condemns people to live in freezing conditions because of her latest policy change.” CRÍOCH
Sinn Féin Social and Family Affairs spokesperson Aengus Ó Snodaigh has said the Government’s priorities can clearly be seen by the fact that Seán Fitzpatrick has yet to be questioned by authorities over the concealment of €87million in secret loans while there has been a serious crackdown on social welfare fraud.
He said the Government’s cave-in to senior civil servants on pay cuts while lower paid public sector workers bear the brunt of cutbacks is another example of this Government’s prioritisation of the privileged over the less well off in society.
Speaking today Deputy Ó Snodaigh said:
“The revelation that Seán Fitzpatrick has yet to be questioned by any relevant authority over his concealment of €87million in secret loans is a disgrace. Justice Minister Dermot Ahern must step in and ensure that this case is properly investigated and that Seán Fitzpatrick is thoroughly questioned.
“Considering the Government’s recent crackdown on social welfare fraud and the failure to properly investigate the actions of Seán Fitzpatrick it is clear where the Government’s priorities lie.
“The Government’s cave-in to senior civil servants on pay cuts while lower paid public sector workers bear the brunt of cutbacks is another example of this Government’s prioritisation of the privileged over the less well off in society.
“Quite clearly the Government has its priorities backwards. It seeks to protect the wealth of the privileged class while targeting the least well off sections of society to pay for the economic crisis.” ENDS
Sinn Féin Foreign Affairs Spokesperson Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD has called on Minister Mícheál Martin to make contact with the Egyptian Government in order to ensure the safety of a number of Irish citizens who are part of a peace convoy to Palestine which has been held up by Egyptian riot police.
Egyptian authorities are refusing to allow approximately sixty aid trucks into Gaza and approximately two thousand Egyptian riot police have surrounded 450 members of the Viva Palestina peace convoy at the Egyptian port of el-Arish. Ten members of the convoy have been injured, four of them seriously.
Deputy Ó Snodaigh said today:
“Members of the Viva Palestina convoy are simply attempting to get much needed medical supplies to the people of Gaza. The aggressive behaviour of the Egyptian authorities towards this peace convoy is unacceptable.
“Foreign Affairs Minister Mícheál Martin must make urgent contact with his Egyptian counterpart to ensure the safety of the Irish members of this group.” ENDS
A Better way forward is available - Mitchel McLaughlin MLA
Dialogue between republicanism and Unionism has always been difficult. But it was only through dialogue that we were able to foster and develop the present peace and political process, however fragile that may be. Genuine dialogue based on respect and equality still remains critical to progress the overall situation but particularly to resolve the current difficulties threatening political stability. Because of the experience of conflict and division, all too often political opponents are viewed with suspicion.
Too many within political unionism seem to view the process from the point of, if nationalists want it, even if it will enhance the lives of the unionist people as well, then it is nevertheless bad for unionism. Political unionism over the years has suffered from a leadership that has fluctuated between supremacist arrogance and a fearful, inarticulate uncertainty. This instilled a fear in many Unionists that, if respective roles were ever reversed, nationalists would imitate the sectarian excesses of Unionism.
Republicans must deal with these fears by redoubling our efforts to communicate with the unionist constituency directly, with a reassuring message that under no circumstances will we visit upon any section of society the exclusion, domination and discrimination from which we are emerging.
Republicans want peace and democratic change and are convinced that, unless radical decisions are agreed with the various representatives of unionism, then we are in danger of condemning future generations to continued conflict.
I believe that there is a better way forward. The British Government, which is not trusted or respected by any constituency in Ireland, has been the common denominator that has subjugated and divided the people of Ireland for generations. I believe that with patience and in a spirit of mutual respect that nationalists and unionists can agree on their relationships to and with each other in peaceful co-existence on this island without the British Government setting the terms.
Republicanism and unionism must reach a sustainable compromise through respectful dialogue, grounded in anti-sectarianism that will move us beyond the impasse of the present into a bright future that will cherish all our people equally. To achieve that, we must explore how we can accommodate each other’s aspirations in a manner which does not demand the surrender of cultural or traditional identity. Together, we must determine the terms of our relationship to this island. What is needed is a determined, strong leadership that does not seek a selfish outcome for our respective constituencies but one which will bring real benefit to all. We must show courage and respect in our dealings with each other and in the management of the process of continued change.
Republicans believe that Irish unity, on the basis of equality, offers the best future for all the people of this island. Therefore it is our responsibility to spell out to unionists what sort of united Ireland we seek and to reassure the unionist people of their place in an Ireland of equals. Whilst we demand the entitlement to promote and to persuade for our vision of a United Ireland, we are also open to engage with unionism on their vision for the future. We’re willing to listen to unionism about why they believe the union is the best option. Opening up a public debate around these key issues can provide a better way forward.
Sinn Féin north Belfast MLA Gerry Kelly this afternoon said he ‘welcomed’ the statement from the UDA, that they have decommissioned their weapons.
Mr Kelly said;
“Firstly if this statement by the UDA is verified by the Independent International Commission on Decommissioning then it is a substantial move forward.
The Nationalists and Unionists populations will both be relieved that a substantial amount of guns are being taken off our streets and nationalists communities in particular would rest much easier as a result of that.
There can be no place for guns as we move forward in advancing the political process, this process has been about taking the gun out of Irish politics.” CRÍOCH
Gerry Adams has described British Secretary of State Shaun Woodward’s remarks yesterday as “banal and silly”.
Mr Adams said,
“Shaun Woodward’s tenure here has been characterised by endlessly banal sound bites without substance. He knows the difficulties in the political process are not ‘difficulties between the DUP and SF’. They are a result of the failure of the DUP to fulfil its obligations under the terms of the Good Friday and the St Andrew’s Agreements.
These Agreements are also accords between the British and Irish governments. It is disingenuous to pass the buck for the failure to implement agreements to Sinn Féin. Sinn Féin is prepared to work through issues with the DUP and Martin McGuinness has shown remarkable leadership and patience in this endeavour.
Continued failure by the British government to face up to it’s responsibilities is unacceptable. No amount of waffle by Shaun Woodward can disguise this. The Governments should be acting on their responsibilities.
The two governments have a duty to act as guarantors of the St Andrew’s Agreement. I told Mr Woodward this yesterday. Martin McGuinness and I also urged the Taoiseach to meet with Gordon Brown on these matters” ENDS
Sinn Féin Finance Spokesperson Arthur Morgan, responding to the release of recent Exchequer figures today, said waiting for the Department of Finance to get forecasts correct was like playing the lottery and that this inconsistency offered no security in these troubled times. Deputy Morgan added that the country was still in huge deficit and was about to embark on NAMA, which would seriously hit economic stability.
Deputy Morgan said:
“Today the Exchequer figures are up but we can see from the weakest areas – VAT and income tax, that workers are still being hit hard by this recession. That is unlikely to change in 2010 in the absence of a government strategy for saving and creating jobs.
“Over the last number of years this Department of Finance has thrown out forecasts month on month which have consistently been wrong – on this occasion they have got it right, but waiting for them to get it right is like playing the lottery and offers no security in these troubled times.
“However, we cannot avoid the real issue here. Ireland is still carrying a massive €20 billion plus deficit and 2010 is the year when the government will implement NAMA, indebting us for further billions. The government cannot claim that the economic situation is turning around when at the same time it is letting debt mount up and doing absolutely nothing to create and sustain jobs.
“The state cannot continue to limp from month to month hoping for a small glimmer of hope on the horizon. 2010 must be the year when the Irish economy is turned around and that will not happen if the government does not focus on providing employment opportunities.” ENDS
Sinn Féin Dáil leader and Health & Children spokesperson Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin has called for the introduction of a special emergency payment for recipients of Fuel Allowance to help them cope with the current spell of freezing weather and the remainder of the winter.
Deputy Ó Caoláin said:
“To assist the least well-off cope over these bitterly cold weeks I am calling on the Government to make a special emergency payment to all fuel allowance recipients.
“Many of the least well-off families and individuals will already have spent a large part of their small incomes in attempting to keep their homes heated. By now, in many cases, their entire winter budget for fuel will have been exhausted. Therefore they will need assistance to get over the current historically cold spell and to continue to heat their homes for the rest of the winter.
“I am urging the Minister for Social and Family Affairs to introduce a special payment as an emergency measure. Surveys have shown that almost 10% of households in this State experience fuel poverty. The most straightforward way to introduce such a payment would be to make it available to all current recipients of Fuel Allowance but provision should also be made for other households who are in fuel poverty.
“Given the unjust and unnecessary social welfare cuts in Budget 2010, the very least that the Government should now do is take exceptional measures to ensure that people in the least well off households do not suffer illness and perhaps death as a result of the cold.
“I would also urge all citizens to direct their thoughts, and actions where possible, at the least well off, including the homeless, those with inadequate heating, the elderly living alone, both in isolated rural Ireland and in our urban environments. They all need our assistance, however little we might have to give. Our time might be all that is required. Showing our concern in a real and practical way can bring a warm glow into the lives of others.” ENDS
Sinn Féin TD Martin Ferris has described the Government’s response to the cold snap as completely inadequate. Deputy Ferris said cutbacks at local authority level are now having an effect as many thousands of people found themselves completely isolated over the Christmas period.
“Many thousands of people in rural communities have been completely isolated over the Christmas period as the cold snap made roads impassable. The Government’s response has been completely inadequate.
“Cutbacks at local authority level are now having an effect as Councils are failing to get to grips with the problem. In many counties only National roads are being gritted as resources are not available for smaller, rural roads to be maintained.
“The Government must act to get the country back up and running as soon as possible. There should be an all island approach to the sourcing of grit for the roads as both Carrickfergus and Cork are running short.
“Overall the Government must snap out of its seasonal hangover and fix our roads.” ENDS
Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams has extended his best wishes to Finance Minister Brian Lenihan after Minister Lenihan revealed details of his cancer diagnosis today. Mr. Adams went on to wish the Minister a speedy recovery.
“My thoughts at this time are with Minister Lenihan and his family. I wish him well with his treatment and hope to see him make a speedy recovery.” ENDS
RESPONDING to comments by Minister for Social and Family Affairs Mary Hanafin in relation to possible cuts to the Lone Parents Allowance, Sinn Féin spokesperson on Social Welfare Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD has said the Minister’s comments, coming on the back of social welfare cuts coming into affect next week, will cause panic amongst those dependent on the payment.
Aengus Ó Snodaigh said:
“Those dependent on social welfare will see their payments and child benefit being cut from next week. They had to make it through the Christmas period without the normal Christmas social welfare payment. Many will have turned to moneylenders. Now in the midst of the Christmas holidays Minister Mary Hanafin has chosen to raise the threat of removing the lone parent allowance from certain recipients. Again as we enter the new year we see the most vulnerable are at the top of the government’s target list.
“Sinn Féin has serious concerns regarding the proposals to limit the duration of the One Parent Family Payment. This represents a form of threat, targeting those who are struggling to raise children, re-educate themselves or try to get into the workforce. Twenty-three per cent of lone parents have no formal education qualification, many more left school without a leaving cert. The proposals which the Minister has been talking about fail to demonstrate how these parents and their children by will be supported in the future once their child reaches 13.
Without adequate education and childcare supports these ‘reforms’ have the potential to actually worsen the situation of those who presently rely on these supports. Rather than threatening and cutting the incomes of those barely getting by, the Government should be ensuring that they have access to properly paid work, retraining and educational opportunities.”
Sinn Féin MLA for Foyle Raymond McCartney has said that the Egyptian Government must allow the international aid convoy, “Viva Palestina Convoy”, to bring humanitarian aid across the border and into Gaza.
Mr McCartney, who was recently in the Middle East as part of a Sinn Fein delegation, was speaking after it emerged that activists taking part in the convoy have began a hunger strike in protest against the stance of Egypt and to allow them to bring the aid to Gaza.
Mr McCartney said;
“Firstly my thoughts are with those men and women, currently in Jordan, who are taking part in this hunger strike, I am conscious that both Caoimhe Butterly and John Hurson from Ireland are taking part.
It is completely unacceptable that the Egyptian Government would deny the much needed medical and charitable aid to enter Gaza.
One year on from the last Israeli bombardment we see the rights of people in Gaza continued to be denied at an international level; this is totally unacceptable and must be challenged at an equal, international level.
I hope that the Egyptian Government will end their current stance and that those taking part in the Hunger Strike will be able to continue en route to Gaza, safe and healthy.” CRÍOCH
The Sinn Féin Group leader on Dublin City Council Larry O'Toole has said that the party is opposed to the Dublin City Council budget for 2010 because it will "impose additional charges on those households least able to afford them".
Clarifying the position in the wake of the City Council's Estimates Meeting on Monday evening last, Cllr. O'Toole said: "Sinn Féin councillors on Dublin City Council worked to achieve a budget for 2010 that would preserve council services and jobs. We argued that the commercial rate should remain the same as 2009 and that no charges should be imposed on those households who benefit from the waiver of refuse charges.
“The Labour Party, Fine Gael and City Council management rejected this approach and produced a budget that imposes new charges on 40,000 households in the city who are already struggling with the impact of the Government’s budget.
"At a meeting of Dublin Sinn Féin on 17th December it was decided that if the Council Estimates contained such a charge for those on the waiver then those Estimates would be opposed by the five Sinn Féin Councillors. This position was announced publicly on 18th December.
“At the City Council Estimates meeting on Monday evening 21st December four Sinn Féin Councillors voted against the Estimates and one, Cllr. Killian Forde, voted for them. Cllr. Forde acted in breach of his mandate from the party.
"Sinn Féin's will continue to oppose these charges. We will continue to defend council services and jobs and to demand the proper funding of local democracy by central government." ENDS
Dublin Sinn Féin TD Aengus Ó Snodaigh has said last night’s Prime Time investigation into banking practices in Ireland proves that senior Fianna Fáil politicians and members of the elite golden circle were well aware of the corruption within the Irish banking sector well before the beginning of the recession last year.
Deputy Ó Snodaigh said the programme shines a light on the need for the main Irish banks to be nationalised and for NAMA to be scrapped.
Speaking today Deputy Ó Snodaigh said:
“It is very clear from last night’s Prime Time programme that senior members of Fianna Fáil and their friends in the elite golden circle were well aware of the malpractice taking place in the Irish banking sector well before the beginning of the recession last year. It is also quite clear that they failed to act and in fact that many of them benefited from this corruption and were integral parts of it.
“These people gambled and made huge profits at the expense of Ireland’s economy. And just look at the mess they have left.
“These revelations confirm my and my party’s view that NAMA was not designed to get the economy back up and running but to take all the bad loans off the banks' books and land them squarely on the shoulders of the Irish people.
“NAMA cannot and will not solve Ireland’s banking problems. It must be scrapped. We must look now at nationalising the two main Irish banks, taking them under state control and ensuring that they are run for the benefit of the Irish people and our economy rather than for the benefit of the wealthy few and senior politicians.” ENDS
GOVERNMENT Minister Willie O'Dea has been forced to withdraw defamatory comments that he made against Limerick City Sinn Féin Councillor Maurice Quinlivan in the run up to the local government elections last June.
In a newspaper interview last March Willie O'Dea made comments concerning Maurice Quinlivan which were untrue and he withdraws the defamatory statement.
The defamatory claims followed criticism of the Fianna Fáil minister by Maurice Quinlivan over revelations that six civil servants were working on constituency matters for Mr O'Dea at a total cost to taxpayers of between 165,000 to €225,000.
Defamation proceedings which were brought by Councillor Quinlivan against Willie O'Dea TD over his claims were settled in the High Court today.
The terms of the settlement saw an apology read out in the High Court whereby Willie O'Dea withdrew fully the defamatory statements made by him against Mr. Quinlivan.
Willie O'Dea apologised unreservedly to Mr. Quinlivan for the harm done to his reputation and accepted that Mr. Quinlivan is a person of exemplary character.
The Minister withdrew the misleading allegations made by him in his Affidavit to the High Court.
The settlement sees Willie O'Dea paying damages to Maurice Quinlivan and discharges Mr. Quinlivan's legal costs.
Regional Development Minister Conor Murphy has welcomed Roads Service’s progress on investment totalling £2.8million in the Ballymoney area this year.
Speaking ahead of this afternoon’s meeting between Roads Service and Ballymoney Borough Council, Conor Murphy said: “I announced the preferred route for the proposed dualling of the A26 Frosses Road between Glarryford Crossroads and Ballycastle Fork last year. My Department is continuing to develop the design for this important road scheme in preparation for progressing the project through the necessary environmental, planning and land acquisition statutory procedures.
"These statutory procedures are expected to be published during the 2010/11 financial year. The April 2008 Department for Regional Developments (DRD) Investment Delivery Plan for Roads anticipates advertisement of the scheme to the market and completion / delivery of the scheme in the period 2013 / 2014 to 2017 / 2018.
“Already completed this year is a £327,000 scheme on the B147 Kirk Road, which improved the visibility sight splay of the Bellisle/Kirk Road junction and also the forward sight distance around a bend adjacent to the junction.
“A combined footway/cycleway has also been constructed at a cost of £100,000 on the B147 Ballinlea Road between Stranocum village and Bushvalley Primary School.
“In addition over 7.6km of carriageway have been resurfaced in asphalt in the Ballymoney area at a cost of £816,000 including 1.0km of resurfacing on the B15 Gracehill Road, Ballymoney, 1.1km on the B16 Bellaghy Road, Dunloy, and 930m on the A26 Newbridge Road at Seacon.
“A number of traffic calming measures and safety related schemes are planned on streets within the Ballymoney Council area. These measures include a recently completed scheme in the Seymour Street area, Ballymoney. The footway along Seymour Street has been upgraded, pedestrian facilities have been improved on Castle Street and the traffic signals at the junction of Main Street and Castle Street have been upgraded to improve pedestrian and cycle routes. The scheme is in support of the Connect 2 project that involves Ballymoney Borough Council, Translink and Sustrans.”
Roads Service Principal Engineer, Uel Wilson said: “Other works that are planned this financial year include the proposal to provide road markings and high friction surfacing on the Portrush Road Roundabout, Ballymoney. A pedestrian refuge island will also be installed near commercial premises on the Portrush Road to assist pedestrian movements.
“The proposed footway extension on the Bann Road from Drumreagh Presbyterian Church to the Vow Road junction is well under construction, and should be substantially completed by Christmas.
"The financial position for the next two years will depend on decisions made by The Executive. However Roads Service is still planning improvement schemes and welcomes comments from Council on its programmes."
Sinn Féin MLA Jennifer McCann has encouraged conflict victims and victim's relatives who may be eligible for financial assistance from the Memorial Fund to ensure they apply.
£1.8 million has been made available to the Memorial Fund this week by the Office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister.
Ms McCann said:
"There has been an enormous toll in deaths and injuries during the conflict.
"This funding will help some of the most vulnerable citizens in our society and their families in a practical way.
"The new Victims and Survivors strategy, when fully implemented, will see a more focussed, coordinated and needs led approach to how we provide support to victims and survivors."
The payments will be distributed through several schemes currently operated by the Memorial Fund.
People over 60 who have lost a brother or sister or a child or who were injured themselves during the conflict can apply for a £250 payment to help with the cost of living, particularly winter heating costs. If you are a new applicant for this scheme, you are also entitled to an initial £200 payment upon approval by the Memorial Fund.
If you have lost a parent, a child or have been injured yourself as a result of the conflict, you can apply for a £500 respite break voucher.
If you are a registered carer or a primary carer of people injured during the conflict, you can also apply for a payment. Registered carers will need a letter from a GP to confirm they are a registered carer.
If you think you are entitled to financial assistance from any of these schemes, or if you would like further information, please contact the Northern Ireland Memorial Fund;
By phone on 028 9076 1166
By Fax on 028 9076 1144
By email at [email protected]
Or at the Memorial Fund offices at Unit 1, Massey Avenue, Belfast, BT4 2JT