INDEPENDENT Councilor Pat Barden has branded it “absolutely disgraceful” that those devastated by a mini-tornado that swept through South Wexford five weeks ago have received little or no support.
At the December Wexford County Council meeting, Cllr Barden said his ally Verona Murphy (who was present at the back of the room) was the only TD who seemed to be pushing the issue.
He called on Wexford County Council to appoint an assessor to conduct an assessment of the damage caused by the unpredictable weather to give the government an idea of ”what sums are needed”.
Cathaoirleach George Lawlor revealed that he had previously attempted to employ the services of a structural engineer using his own resources.
However, he said when the engineer asked those concerned for more details, “there was a very bad response”.
“I don’t believe that for a second, George,” Cllr Barden shot back. “This is nonsense. If that happened anywhere else, there would be war. If it happened in Wexford Town there would be war. Is Wexford County Council going to do anything, no?’
“Are you calling me a liar?” Cllr Lawlor shot back. “There’s no point in attacking me. I have provided discretionary funds to try and do something here. I did not receive the information required for the assessment. You can be as much superhero and grandstand here as you want, but I did something practical. We can talk all day.
“The reality is that this goes well beyond what the Council can offer. It’s about damage in the millions. It is a national matter and must be resolved by Cabinet, not Wexford County Council.”
Wexford County Council chief executive Tom Enright confirmed this, saying: “We are not directly involved. We have helped with the clean up and provided containers etc. but the discussion will be at the government level in terms of support and I understand there will be meetings on this.”
Cllr Jim Codd reiterated the urgency of the situation.
“It’s not a hint or anything,” he said, perhaps to calm the discussion. “But there are farmers whose roofs have been blown off. Not all of them have insurance, and the fact that some farmers don’t have roofs In this weather…this is an urgent problem. People are left in limbo and their lives put on hold. Perhaps our Dáil MPs need to pull themselves together and stress how important this is.”
During his recent visit to Wexford, Housing Secretary Darragh O’Brien stressed: “We will not let these people down”. With Christmas just around the corner, however, the anxiety caused by this unpredictable weather shows no signs of abating anytime soon.
https://www.independent.ie/regionals/wexford/news/tempers-flare-over-supports-for-wexford-tornado-victims-there-are-people-with-no-roofs-on-their-houses-two-weeks-to-christmas-42217196.html Tempers flare over support for Wexford tornado victims – ‘Two weeks before Christmas there are people without roofs on their houses’