€109k paid out to 275 flood victims as part of initial assistance phase

Joe Sheehy cleans out his mother's home on St Muchin's St, after floods hit Limerick. Pic: Seán Curtin

A sum of €109,000 has been paid to 275 claimants in the initial emergency assistance response to assist flood victims in Limerick, said Housing Minister Jan O’Sullivan yesterday.

Ms O’Sullivan, a Labour TD for Limerick, said: “Some 275 emergency humanitarian payments have been made and the total dispersed to date is €109,000.

“This represents 70% of the payments made to flood victims across the country and it highlights the enormity of the flooding that King’s Island and beyond experienced.”

The payments — which work out at an average of €396 per claimant — are managed by the Department of Social Protection’s Community Welfare Service.

They are intended to assist people overcome the initial damage caused by flooding.

Immediate assistance for families for items such as food, clothing, and toiletries was also provided.

According to the Department of Social Protection, two additional stages of assistance are envisaged. Stage two involves the replacement of white goods, furniture, and essential household items.

Applications have begun to be processed for this type of assistance. Payments can range from €2,000 to €3,500.

Stage three responds to the longer-term works required and assessment of need can take several months as the full extent of damage is assessed.

Works to be carried out can include plastering, dry-lining, flooring, and re-wiring.

Ms O’Sullivan said: “The Minister for Social Protection, Joan Burton, and I are working closely to ensure that the humanitarian response is effective and efficient.

“Assistance is there for families of all income levels. For instance a family with two children with a gross income of €70,000 will receive humanitarian assistance.

“The means test for this emergency assistance is very generous and most families will qualify for support related to their needs. It is important that everyone affected by flooding knows that assistance is available and contacts the Community Welfare Service.”

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