€16.8M storm fund allocated to Clare County Council

Clare County Council has received confirmation from the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government of its decision to provide €16,205,637 to undertake repair works to local authority managed infrastructure damaged during the recent period of severe weather.

The funding has been allocated in response to submissions made to Government by Clare County Council outlining details of the structural damage caused to infrastructure along Clare’s Atlantic coastline and at some locations along the Shannon Estuary.

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The funding has been earmarked for a programme of repair works to roads, piers and harbours, coastal protection repairs, tourism infrastructure and other facilities which are in the charge of Clare County Council.

Meanwhile, the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government has also made a once-off allocation of €608,878 to the local authority to recoup the costs associated with its response to storms during January.

Welcoming the news, Mayor of Clare Cllr. Joe Arkins said: “This is a very positive announcement for Clare and the people who live and work in the areas affected by the recent storms. I am delighted that Government has responded to the Council’s detailed submissions with such a substantial funding allocation, which will help to alleviate the fears of many people who have expressed concern over what effect the storm damage would have on their communities and tourism infrastructure.”

“Clare is a tourism county and is a key part of the Government tourism flagship project, the Wild Atlantic Way, and it is vitally important that our tourism product is accessible and usable. This allocation enables the Council to immediately prepare and submit a programme of works,” added Mayor Arkins.

Clare County Manager Tom Coughlan has also warmly welcomed the announcement, adding: “Clare County Council is cogently aware of the importance of undertaking repair works to damaged infrastructure and has already invested a considerable amount of its own resources in undertaking interim remedial works to ensure that the impact of the storm damage on local communities has been minimised.”

He continued: “In light of this extremely positive announcement, the Council will now begin a process of engagement with the relevant funding Departments and Agencies with a view to proceeding with vitally important infrastructure repair works along Clare coastline. We would hope that further funding allocations will be made but the level of this allocation enables very significant works to be progressed. Due to the extensive disruption to community life along the Clare coastline and in light of the upcoming summer tourist season, the local authority is committed to progressing the planning and delivery of repair works as quickly as possible.”

The combined funding of €16,814,515 announced tonight is in addition to the €6m already allocated by Government for the construction of a new harbour development, including a pier and flood defence works, at Doolin.