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Financial Assistance Act should be utilised to address cold spell hardship

28 December, 2010 - by Westminster

Deputy First Minister, Martin McGuinness MP MLA speaking today while visiting homes affected by flooding in the Shankill estate in Lurgan with Regional Development Minister, Conor Murphy MP MLA, has stated that the Executive should examine how best the Financial Assistance Act can be utilised to aid those most affected by the recent extreme weather conditions.

Speaking from Lurgan Mr McGuinness said:

“The recent long spell of sub zero temperatures and snow falls, followed by a quick and dramatic thaw has resulted in frozen pipes followed by flooding which has affected many people adversely, with some having witnessed considerable damage to their homes.

“I would like to thank public servants for their hard work over the this period of severe weather in seeking to help.

“I will be asking Departments for their assessment of the situation and to bring forward proposals on how best to address, and deal with effectively, situations such as this.

“Further to this we will be also examining the Financial Assistance Act, which we have previously utilised, to see how we can address the financial hardship of those who are most in need over this period.

“Certainly a case in point is some of the homes we have visited in the Shankill estate in Lurgan which have suffered considerably with sewage entering their homes.”

Speaking from Coalisland where the local reservoir has run dry due to burst pipes, Mr McGuinness also made an appeal for business owners and farmers to check their premises and outhouses for burst pipes and leaks as these are some of the biggest drains on the network and may have gone unchecked.

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