VIDEO: Flood victims to receive more relief payments

The Irish Red Cross expects the Government to clear the way for people who have already received flood relief to apply again for similar cash amounts if they had fallen victim to the weather again over the past week.

The secretary general of the Irish Red Cross, Liam O’Dwyer, said the Cabinet, which is due to meet today, was aware of the issues facing businesses and householders who meet the criteria and who have been flooded twice or more in the past month.

Following the flooding of Bandon on December 5 in which dozens of businesses were badly affected, the government sanctioned a quick turnaround flood aid scheme which allowed businesses to apply for sums of up to €5,000 to help get them up and running.

The plan was to have the money paid before Christmas, with the criteria based around being a registered rate-payer, being flood damaged, and not having flood insurance.

However, many of those same businesses which successfully applied for the flood relief were hit again last week — prompting many to ask if they could apply again, or would have to meet a higher threshold for aid to secure additional sums of up to €15,000.

The Irish Red Cross is administering the flood relief money at local level on behalf of the Government and Mr O’Dwyer said he expected people affected twice by flooding can apply for a second time.

“The Cabinet are meeting and I gather this is on the agenda,” he said.

“The scheme has been extended and people who have been struck for the second time are to apply for the second time.

“We will wait for any additional criteria that may emerge [from the Cabinet meeting].”

As of New Year’s Day the national co-ordination group for response to flooding said approximately 130 applications had been received for flood relief and around 70% had been paid.

In Bandon, 26 of the 30 successful applications had been paid by the end of last week.

However, Bandon was among the towns badly affected by Storm Frank and, in some cases, clean-up and repair of flooring and shop fronts were wrecked all over again by last week’s weather.

Mr O’Dwyer said while it was initially envisaged flood relief would have been a 24-hour turnaround, in some cases it had taken up to five days.

Mr O’Dwyer said the three-to-five day turnaround was “not overly excessive” and he also said there had been surprisingly few new applications since last week’s damage caused by Storm Frank.

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