McGrath: Flood support must be delivered at pace

newry Colin McGrath Flooding Downpatrick

SDLP South Down MLA Colin McGrath has welcomed an announcement of emergency support for homes and businesses impacted by recent flooding.

Mr McGrath said that the Northern Ireland Office must quickly outline how the emergency fund will be allocated, the criteria for application and how quickly support will be provided by those impacted.

Colin McGrath MLA said:

“Home and businesses across Newry, Mourne and Down have been devastated by recent flooding. People have watched as their livelihoods have been destroyed and tried desperately in recent days to salvage whatever they can as the waters have receded.

“I welcome news that an emergency fund will be made available to support those impacted over the last week. The SDLP has made representations to the Secretary of State and this is a sign that things are now moving in the right direction. We are continuing to work with statutory agencies, local businesses and residents to assess the full extent of the damage but it’s absolutely critical that this support is made available as quickly as possible to allow people to get back on their feet.

“We don’t know yet if £15m will be enough to cover the full impact of this disaster but it will make a difference in the short term if the money can get to those most affected urgently. Providing support to the local community is the number one priority and then we have to turn our attention to how this happened, making sure that our infrastructure can cope with future high risk weather events and preventing a repeat from devastating our communities again.”

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