Govt urged to apply for storm
by Jessie Magee
THE Government is being strongly advised to apply as
soon as possible to the EU Solidarity Fund to access
aid for the nationwide clean-up following Superstorm
Early estimates indicate the damages caused by a
week of flooding and storm-force winds could be as
high as €300 million, but so far only €45 million
has been made available from the national emergency
Irish MEPs have warned that unless the Government
lodges its EU application soon, it could miss a
valuable funding window.
“The clock is ticking; any application for funding
has to be received by the Commission within 10 weeks
of the date of first damage caused by the disaster,”
said Fine Gael MEP Jim Higgins. Mr Higgins added
that he has been assured by EU officials that
funding will be forthcoming for Ireland, if the
application is submitted on time.
The aftermath of severe storms that
ravaged sections of the shore paths between Moville
and Greencastle. Photo courtesy: Liam Skelly.
Midlands-North-West MEP, Pat the Cope Gallagher,
said the Government should get estimated costs for
the reconstruction work from all local and regional
authorities as soon as possible before submitting a
proposal. The Fianna Fáil MEP pointed out that
Ireland's previous application to the EU Solidarity
Fund following the flooding in November 2009 was
successful, yielding €13 million in funding.
Meanwhile, MEP Sean Kelly has requested an urgent
meeting with EU Regional Policy Commissioner
Johannes Hahn to leverage help for Ireland under the
EU Solidarity Fund. Mr Kelly is a member of the
European Parliament's Regional Development
Committee, which oversees the fund.
The EU Solidarity Fund was set up in 2002 to respond
to natural disasters and severe weather within
Europe, and has been used for 56 disasters since