Midlands/North-West MEP’s Jim Higgins and Pat ‘The Cope’ Gallagher met Commissioner Johannes Hahn last week to discuss Ireland’s potential application to the EU Solidarity Fund.
The local MEPs discovered that the annual €500 million budget will be topped up by an additional €300 million roll over from last year.
Speaking after the meeting, Mr Higgins said that the additional funding could offer essential financial assistance to rebuild “our battered infrastructure at home”.
Mr Gallagher then warned the Irish Government not to delay in its application for funding because it was a matter of “immediate importance for the country”.
The Commissioner, who manages the EU fund, admitted that the recent storms in Ireland would make for an “unprecedented application” because of the severity of the weather since December. “It is necessary to make a immediate application,” Mr Gallagher added. “Look at the UK - they said they would not apply to the fund and now they are currently in the process of applying.”