THREE accountancy firms in Clon have pledged free support services to local flood victims who may be “intimidated” by the application form for the Humanitarian Flood Fund announced two weeks ago.
Town Mayor Cionnaith Ó Súilleabháin asked accountants in the town if they would assist people who are finding it difficult to fill out the six-page form.
At a joint meeting of the local flood support groups on Tuesday, the issue of some people not applying to the €10 million fund allocated for Cork Flood victims was raised.
The Mayor said, “We have found that there are some people, particularly the elderly, who are not applying for this government fund because they feel intimidated and nervous in relation to some questions on the application form.
“I have no doubt that many of these people, if they applied would qualify, and would receive funding from the €10 million special fund set up for Cork flood victims.
“Our committee was adamant that these people should be assisted in every possible way to encourage them to apply for funding from the Humanitarian Relief Fund.
“We felt that if these applicants were able to receive guidance from professional people in a confidential setting who would assist them in filling up the application form, it would be of great benefit and comfort to them, and would mean the difference between applying and not,” he said.
Cllr Ó Súilleabháin contacted accountants in the town and three of them (Rosemarie Lahiff, Timothy Coughlan and Séamus O’Brien) have volunteered their services free of charge in order to help.
“This is a very kind gesture by these businesses, and I encourage people who are in any way nervous about any aspect of this application form to make an appointment and see any of the three participating firms at the earliest possible opportunity,” he said.
Two other accountants were also approached, but regretted that they had to decline as one was flooded themselves and struggling with cramped temporary accommodation and the other had most of its staff on summer holidays.
The humanitarian aid application form is available from the local Community Welfare Office.
The participating accountants are:
Rosemarie Lahiff, 1st Floor, 19 Connolly St, Tel: 023 883 6791
Timothy Coughlan, 10 Rossa St, Clonakilty. Tel: 023 883 3763
Séamus O’Brien, Snugboro Rd, Clonakilty Tel: 023 883 3890