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Crowe seeks emergency relief fund to assist people affected by floods

26 October, 2011 - by Seán Crowe TD

Dublin South West Sinn Féin TD Seán Crowe has written to Government Ministers urging them to put in place an Emergency Relief Fund to assist people whose homes were damaged or destroyed during the recent prolonged spell of torrential rain.

Deputy Crowe, who on Tuesday visited the victims of flood damage living in his constituency, said hundreds of families have been left in despair by damage caused to their property.

He said: “The torrential rain that affected many parts of the East Coast over the past 48 hours resulted in serious flooding to hundreds of homes in Tallaght and the wider Dublin South West area.

“I visited homes whose interiors have been badly damaged by floodwater. Essential household items such as furniture, electrical equipment, flooring, heating boilers and oil tanks have been destroyed or rendered useless. Many families, including people who are elderly, infirm and physically disabled have been left distraught at the destruction left in the wake of last Monday night’s floods.

“The mental anguish caused as a result of losing irreplaceable personal family processions is difficult to contemplate and to make matters worse, the financial constraints placed on people have left many without essential household insurance and facing losses with no prospect of receiving compensation.

“I have urged the Government to immediately implement an Emergency Relief Fund to help anyone whose property has been damaged as a result of the wet weather. Lessons must be learnt and efforts made to help areas that have flooded in the past so they are made less vulnerable to prolonged periods of heavy rain. In Tallaght for example, parts of housing estates in places such as Knockmore have for decades been affected by flooding yet nothing meaningful has been done to address the situation.

“I am also concerned that Dublin City Council was the only local government authority that enacted an emergency response and people do not understand why this was not replicated in other Council areas. It is an issue that must be reviewed immediately and a multi-agency approach needs to be put in place for dealing with this type of crisis.

“We have not even reached the end of October yet severe wet weather has already caused havoc to many Irish households, at a time when people are already finding it almost impossible to cope. The Government must make the necessary funding available to implement schemes that can prevent a reoccurrence of the flooding and this should include improvements to drainage systems, river culverts and flood alleviation projects. People who have lost property and who are without insurance must be provided with financial assistance.” ENDS

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