24 June 2009

Donegal has no Money for Gweedore Clean-up

After more than 24 hours of embarrassing silence (during which not even their official website mentioned the flash floods at Gweedore - and the various related local traffic restrictions - with a single word) Donegal County Council has eventually woken up and issued a first statement on the matter.

One would have expected some words of support for the battered community at Gweedore, but no such friendliness was offered to the victims of freak weather conditions by the 29 Councillors who were only elected to their positions on the 5th of this month.

In fact, the only statement issued by a Council spokesman today came as a shock to residents and businesspeople in Gweedore, who spent the day assessing damage to their properties and cleaning up after the torrential rain and floods as good as they could.

While parts of the Gaeltacht community at the Atlantic coast are still covered by inches of water (photo right) and eager Council officials were driving around the area to assess the damage flood waters and landslides have done to the roads and bridges (which are their responsibility), the Council spokesman simply declared: "Donegal has no money to pay for the clean-up at Gweedore."

Is it really that easy in the banana republic Ireland has become under twelve years of Fianna Fáil government to cast off public responsibilities?

It seems that the freshly elected clowns in Co. Donegal are at least giving it a real try. And they only do it because the local election is over and thus they are safe in their seats for the next five years. They would never dare to even think of such an arrogant and ignorant attitude if election day were still to come.

Obviously the whole country is in recession and suffering on top of that from a serious financial crisis, mostly of our own making. So money is tight everywhere, not just in Co. Donegal.
However, in a case like this - with freak torrential rainfall and subsequent flash floods that hit Gweedore yesterday - the least one could and should expect from one's County Council is some solidarity, support and positive action.

But all the good citizens of Gweedore are getting from their elected local representatives are the usual incompetence of Irish politicians, a lame excuse and the stingy attempt to pass the buck on grounds of insolvency. No-one on Donegal County Council seems to have a thought for the hundreds of people who were directly affected by yesterday's freak weather and whose houses and/or business premises are damaged now as a result.

So far the only - and thus lonely - voice of support for the people of Gweedore is that of local Fine Gael TD Dinny McGinley (left).
The outspoken and popular opposition politician promised to raise a question in the Dáil about some emergency funding being provided to help the people of the parish.
If he will be successful with this remains to be seen. Every Irish government department is currently trying to safe money, while Finance Minister Brian Lenihan is attempting the impossible: to balance the state's books at a time of massive deficit. (see also my entry of June 3rd)

However, as Gweedore is the largest Gaeltacht parish in the whole of Ireland, there should at least be some money from the Department of Community & Gaeltacht Affairs available for its people in a time of need.
I will be following the debate in the Dáil on this matter with great interest.

The Emerald Islander

P.S. - For a detailed report on the freak weather conditions that hit Gweedore yesterday, please look below for my entry from earlier today.


Anonymous said...

People here in Donegal are very angry with the Co. Council. They can't just turn their back on the victims of a natural disaster and walk away.

Anonymous said...

Those services are needed in gweedore, and alot more than just that, there will be flooding every year from here on.

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