December 13, 2023
Assurances needed around services and supports in the wake of Leitrim village tornado – Martin Kenny TD

Sinn Féin TD for Sligo-Leitrim, Martin Kenny, today asked the government to reaffirm its commitment to supporting the people of Leitrim village affected by Sunday’s tornado.

Deputy Kenny also pushed the government for clear guidelines and timelines on how and when people will get the supports they need when he raised the issue in the Dáil this morning.

Speaking after the debate, Teachta Kenny said:

“No one could have anticipated this, and I want to commend the work of the local council and emergency services who really put their shoulders to the wheel. It shows the very best of what we offer in a small community.

“When the Taoiseach visited on Monday, he assured those affected that he was keen to offer supports. Through the other weather related disasters we have seen in areas of Cork, we know humanitarian funds are available for both households and businesses.

“The people of Leitrim village now need clear timelines of when these will be available, and an assurance that they can access the fund for any insurance related shortfalls and expenses incurred as a result of this disaster.

“The local authority here is also under tremendous pressure where costs are concerned. While they are continuing to put things right in the aftermath, we need to ensure they are adequately funded to avoid other services being sacrificed for the clean-up.

“We are incredibly lucky that no one was seriously injured or worse, however this incident has again highlighted the desperate situation facing the ambulance service covering the south Leitrim area. If an ambulance had been required on Sunday, one was not available locally.

“This is an ongoing issue in south Leitrim and has been for a number of years now. With the introduction of the HSE embargo due to the underfunding of the health service by the government in the most recent budget, I am fearful that this situation will only get worse.

“This freak weather event has brought out the very best in our community in Leitrim, however, it has also given an insight into the services we don’t have available because of underinvestment.

“I will continue to raise the urgency around humanitarian funding and the shortfalls in the management of the ambulance service to ensure the government provides the necessary funding and services to the people of Leitrim.”

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