By Kieran O’Mahony
SOME business owners in Bandon, hit by the recent floods, have received the €5,000 emergency aid which was promised before Christmas.
However, it appears the cash is only ‘trickling in’ as many others who applied last week are still waiting on payments to come through.
At time of going to press, none of the businesses The Southern Star contacted had so far received the payments into their accounts.
Although it is believed that a total of 11 businesses have been sent cheque transfers, the busy shopping period has meant most haven’t been able to check if the payments have arrived in their accounts yet.
‘I can confirm that businesses received payments on Monday and Tuesday,’ said Barry O’Donovan, national secretary of the Irish Red Cross. ‘As we are receiving approval from local authorities, which is the condition outlined by Government, we are issuing payment,’ he added.
‘It’s definitely a help to them, but whether that amount is sufficient for them to cover their entire costs is another matter,’ he told The Southern Star.
Over 20 businesses in Bandon applied for the emergency aid of €5,000 which is being administered by the Irish Red Cross Society. The scheme is a support contribution towards the costs of returning business premises to their pre-flood condition, including the replacement of flooring, fixtures and fittings and damaged stock.
A source claimed the delay in payments was down to Cork County Council’s slowness in singing off on the applications.
‘We made the commitment to the business owners of Bandon that the payments would be in before Christmas, and I’m confident that those who have applied will receive the money into their bank accounts over the next day or two,’ said local FG TD Jim Daly.
Eric Hickey of Hickey’s Newsagent on South Main Street told The Southern Star he had applied for the financial aid last week, but had not received any payment by Tuesday of this week.
Up the street from Hickey’s, Deasy’s Pharmacy was also flooded and Jo Deasy said she applied for the aid last week, but hadn’t received any payment either. Across the street it was the same story for store manager, Bryan Powell of Kevin Bowens, who was still waiting on the payment to come through. Josephine Whelehan, owner of Dressed clothes shop on the same street, was also still waiting for the payment.
Jacinta Warren, owner of The Warren Allen Collections on Pearse Street, only sent off her form this week, so she doesn’t expect any payment until after Christmas.
‘This aid will cover a bit of the damage to things like my units, but there was a lot of electrical damage and I can’t do any further work until after Christmas,’ said Jacinta. ‘Eircom have been great and they gave me a temporary line, so that I can process credit cards.’
‘It’s been a hectic few weeks but I must say that business has been good since the floods and the people of Bandon and beyond have been supporting, not just me, but other businesses too,’ she said.
Maria McLaughlin of Bandon Flood Group, and a business owner on Bridge Street, has yet to send off her application form, but is confident that she will get a chance after the busy holiday period.