Since 22 August 2017 the Irish Red Cross has been engaged in a number activities to provide relief and support to those who were affected by the Donegal Floods.
In terms of financial support, the Irish Red Cross set up a Fundraising Appeal in the immediate aftermath of the floods, specifically to help those affected in Donegal. In addition to this, at the request of the Government, the Irish Red Cross Society agreed to administer two temporary emergency humanitarian support schemes.
Beginning from the night of the flood, Irish Red Cross volunteers assisted members of the community in clearing out their home. They also visited homes in the days immediately following the flooding to determine the support required, and liaised with the local authority on rehousing residents.
In addition, volunteers in the region travelled across the northwest collecting donated furniture and delivering it to affected homes while they also collected and sorted donated clothes and distributed them. The Irish Red Cross also liaised with various community groups advising them on the collection of items such as cleaning materials, toiletries, food hampers and donations of bedding and the Irish Red Cross then assisted the community groups with the distribution of these items.
Government Temporary Emergency Humanitarian Support Schemes
In the aftermath of the floods, at the request of the Government, the Irish Red Cross Society agreed to administer two temporary emergency humanitarian support schemes – one for small businesses and one for community, voluntary and sporting bodies.
There were 64 applicants to these support schemes and €530,000 was allocated to date. 55 of the applicants were small businesses and nine were community and sports organisations. Distribution of this funding is almost complete. 49 applicants have been paid, ten didn’t meet the criteria and additional information is required from five of the applicants before their application can be finalised.
Donegal Flood Appeal Funds
€220,800 was raised in the Donegal Flood Appeal. This fund was comprised of donations from members of the general public, donations from local community and sporting organisations, receipts from a number of concerts, and events and monies received from the Donegal diaspora in the USA.
€60,000 was distributed in cash grants in September and October to circa 120 people severely affected by the floods. The allocation of this funding in particular was possible thanks to the hard work of the volunteers in Donegal Red Cross. During October, this fund distribution focused in particular on helping ensure people in Donegal would have adequate heating supplies and infrastructure coming into winter.
Another €73,750 was distributed in a discretionary grant scheme. The deadline for applications for this scheme was 30 November. There were 71 applicants – 59 households and 12 business and community organisations. Funds were given under this scheme to assist with the replacement of main and general household items, cleaning, decorating, structural repairs as well as replacing damaged equipment in businesses or sports and community organisations. Payments made ranged from €500 to €4,000. 44 of these applicants received payments before Christmas while 27 were paid after Christmas (€75,340).
Applications for the discretionary grant were assessed by staff and volunteers in the Irish Red Cross HQ with oversight from an independent charities governance advisor. Feedback on levels of damage in the region was received from Donegal Area volunteers.
No sooner were the final payments made than the Donegal Association presented the Chairman with a cheque for €11,800 in Government buildings (this week).This money will be distributed within the next week following consultation with the Donegal Area Committee.