OF the 31 applications that Bandon business people have made for Red Cross funding, 21 were paid before Christmas, according to the organisation’s secretary general.
Mr Liam O’Dwyer told “The Southern Star” that one of the 36 did not meet the criteria and that one other was missing a piece of information and was returned but is now being processed.
‘Three have not been sent to Cork County Council, but will be sent to the local authority today,’ he said this week, adding that 26 applications were sent to the Red Cross finance department for payment – 21 were paid by electronic transfer before Christmas, and five were due to be paid on Tuesday.
Mr O’Dwyer said he was aware that some Bandon business people had been complaining that the promised €5,000 in emergency flood relief funding had not been paid. He offered a possible explanation: ‘It can take anything from one day to three days for the payments to clear. With banking online it can be instantaneous, but it can also take up to three days, particularly during the Christmas period.’
He added: ‘I want people to be aware that the electronic transfers were made before Christmas and that the verification process carried out by Cork County Council can take between three to four days.’
Fianna Fail’s general election candidate and Municipal District member, Cllr Margaret Murphy O’Mahony, has criticised the Government’s ‘lacklustre’ response and the delay in getting what was described at the time as ‘humanitarian assistance’ to people affected by the December 5th flooding.
She said: ‘Bandon and Skibbereen residents feel let down by the Government. These floods have caused havoc and people are entitled to urgent humanitarian assistance – not just for businesses but for families too.’
She said: ‘People are being forced to fend for themselves against the latest storm. They have been trying to get back on their feet after the storms hit West Cork – Bandon and Skibbereen in particular – for the second time in less than a month.
‘Now they have to contend with even more floodwater. It is heartbreaking. People are exhausted by it all, especially as it has hit during the Christmas period.’
‘But what people feel most frustrated about is the fact that the Government has been completely invisible over the last few days, despite the countless warnings issued by Met Éireann.
‘Why hasn’t the Taoiseach called an emergency cabinet meeting to co-ordinate the response to this latest flooding?’ asked Cllr Murphy O’Mahony. ‘People’s lives are being ruined here yet there doesn’t seem to be any urgency from the Government in wanting to deal with this.’