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MEPs seeking funds for Storm Ophelia damage

November 19th, 2017 11:50 AM

By Siobhan Cronin

A damaged wall at Tragumna after Storm Ophelia. (Photo: Anne Minihane)

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A NUMBER of Ireland South MEPs are pressurising the EU to provide funds for those affected by the recent Storm Ophelia in West Cork.

Ballyvourney-based MEP Liadh Ní Riada said she is calling for a relief fund to be put in place for those who were most badly hit and said she would be appealing to Agriculture Minister Michael Creed also.

‘I will be appealing to his goodwill to get the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund to provide support for the fishing industry,’ she told regional journalists visiting Strasbourg last week.

‘I will be lobbying to have the fund put in place,’ she said.

MEP Sean Kelly also added his voice to the debate regarding funding for fishermen and farmers who lost valuable equipment and experienced damage to their property during the ex-Hurricane, which hit West Cork worst.

He said the Solidarity Fund probably wouldn’t apply, as the threshold would be too high.

He said the EU should not just be looking at the cost of the damage, however, but also the cost of the repairs and the issue with trees.

He said that the question of trees which were close to public roads should also be looked at and that there may need to be an exclusion zone applied to dangerous trees close to roadways.

But, noting the huge damage caused to some nurseries in the region, he said that all public and private damage should be paid for, and suggested the Structural Funds or CAP should be used.

Fellow FG MEP Deirdre Clune said the European Solidarity Fund had a threshold of €2bn but that it would be difficult to find the correct funds to target until all the damage has been assessed.

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