17 October 2017
By Elaine Murphy
Sinn Féin Cork based MEP Liadh Ní Riada has called on the Government to immediately contact the European Commission regarding the European Union solidarity Fund (EUSF) in the wake of Storm Ophelia.
The fund was set up in 2002 to help Member States deal with the aftermath and clean-up operations necessary following natural disasters. Applications to access this funding need to be made within 12 weeks of damage occurring.
The Ireland South MEP made the call as the massive repair operation now required following the storm gets under way.
“It is absolutely essential now that the Irish Government makes immediate contact with the European Commission and sets in place a framework for applying for this essential funding,” she said.
“Early estimates indicate over €800m worth of damage has been caused throughout Ireland. The current threshold which would allow us access to the fund in terms of monetary damage is 0.6% of Ireland’s GNI. Storm Ophelia has caused significantly more damage than this.
“Local Authorities and Communities need aid and assistance as soon as possible. An advance payment of up to €30m can and should be requested”