Emergency fund pays out €235,000 to Midleton flood victims
The emergency fund set up to assist those affected by severe flooding in Midleton last month has paid out nearly €235,000 so far. The Irish Red Cross, which was tasked by the Government to administer the fund, confirmed that 27 applicants have received a total of €234,364 as of Friday afternoon. The majority of the applicants are from the Midleton area, which suffered extensive damage during Storm Babet in October. A total of 107 applications have been received, with two applicants withdrawing and 10 deemed ineligible.
The two emergency flood relief schemes, known as Scheme A and Scheme B, were set up to provide financial assistance to those affected by the flooding. Scheme A offers smaller payments of €5,000 initially, with further payments of up to €15,000 following assessment. Scheme B provides a single initial payment of €10,000, which can then be followed by payments of up to €100,000 after assessment by a professional appointed by the Irish Red Cross. Of the 107 applications received, 42 were made under Scheme A and 53 under Scheme B.
In addition to the Irish Red Cross, applications have also been submitted to Cork County Council for assessment. The council then processes the applications and sends them to the Red Cross. Midleton Chamber of Commerce and the local enterprise office (LEO) have been assisting businesses in their applications. The Chamber has set up a business advice clinic with the LEO to provide guidance in filling out forms. Following the first round of applications, the Chamber is currently taking bookings for assistance on Tuesday, November 14.
A spokesperson for the Irish Red Cross praised the local authority, Midleton Chamber, and LEO for their assistance in speeding up the process of getting funding to affected businesses. The spokesperson also emphasized the need for a meticulous process to ensure that public funds are properly accounted for.
The release of funds is expected to increase in the coming days and weeks as the necessary paperwork is completed. Last week, the Government extended eligibility for emergency funding following a memo brought by Enterprise Minister Simon Coveney. The flooding in Midleton occurred during a month of record rainfall at Cork Airport, with October being the third wettest month ever recorded at the monitoring station.