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Deputy Michael McNamara

Clare needs “comfort letter” on storm funds

CLARE TD Michael McNamara has requested the Government to issue a “letter of comfort” to Clare County Council to provide reassurance that funding will be available for necessary repairs following the disastrous storms.

The Labour deputy said the scale of destruction on the Clare coast and in the Shannon Estuary was underlined at Monday’s meeting of the local authority when members were told that the total estimate for repairs now stands at €36.8m.

Young Paul O Sullivan of Cooga, Kildysart looking out over the family farm and other neighbour's farms which are under deep flood water from the Shannon Estuary. Photograph by John Kelly.
A view of the flooding when the  Shannon Estuary defence embankments were breached at Kildysart. Photograph by John Kelly.

“Clare County Council has already spent €720,000 in temporary repairs and the need for further considerable expenditure is urgent. The council has spent this money without receiving any letter from the Government stating that the local authority will be reimbursed. County manager, Tom Coughlan has pointed out that further spending without written authorisation raises the issue of good corporate governance. Clearly the Council is caught between a rock and a hard place.

“The scale of what has happened on the Clare coast is truly shocking and there is a crucial need to allow people to get their lives back. The destruction also has medium to long term implications for the local economy in an area so heavily dependent on agriculture and tourism. As a Government, we need to stand by the people of County Clare at this very difficult time,” he said.

 

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