GOVERNMENT Minister Joe McHugh says ‘scenes of utter devastation’ from flooding which have badly affected families, businesses, voluntary and sporting organisations will require special emergency funding.
The Donegal Fine Gael TD and Government Chief Whip was speaking after visiting some of those affected by Tuesday’s freak weather event.
Minister McHugh visited homes in Donegal yesterday where families have lost everything in the flood waters.
After meeting and speaking with families in Buncrana, Bridgend and Burnfoot, Minister McHugh said: “Family homes have been destroyed in the flood waters and the affects on homeowners is devastating.
“It is essential that an emergency aid package is put together so we can help families rebuild their lives and so that bridges and roads washed away in the floods are restored as soon as possible.
“We have heard incredible stories of neighbours saving neighbours at the height of the floods. It is a miracle no lives were lost during this weather event.
“It is clear now that six major bridges and roads need to be repaired so that, for example, people can travel from Moville to Muff. There are a number of other areas where people have been cut off and access needs to be restored as soon as possible.
“Donegal County Council staff have worked tirelessly to find emergency accommodation for those who need it and we need to look at how we protect homes in the future. I will be working with Cabinet colleagues to seek an emergency fund to deal with all these issues in the days ahead,” Minister McHugh said.
Minister McHugh will meet councillors and council staff in Carndonagh later today.
He is also due to visit more homes and businesses on the peninsula which were hit by flood waters.
“It is important now that an initial assessment of the damage caused is carried out and I’ve been in contact overnight with a number of officials including the Office of Public Works,” he said.