News & Events

Tánaiste opens Humanitarian Support Scheme for small businesses affected by flooding as a result of Storm Barra

The Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Leo Varadkar TD, today opened the Humanitarian Support Scheme to small businesses, sports clubs, community and voluntary organisations unable to secure flood insurance and affected by recent flooding as a result of Storm Barra.

The Scheme will also provide Humanitarian Aid for a small number of businesses impacted by an earlier flooding event in Fermoy, Co. Cork, on the 12th of February 2021.

The Tánaiste said:

“I know how devastating the recent floods have been on businesses and community groups in Cork, particularly in Bantry and Fermoy, and this Scheme is set up to provide urgent assistance to those who have no insurance, through no fault of their own, to help with the costs of repairing the damage. It’s been an incredibly challenging period for anyone running a small business or any community organisation and Government is on hand to help with this latest disruption.”

The scheme is a humanitarian support payment towards the costs of returning small businesses, sporting, voluntary and community premises to their pre-flood condition including the replacement of flooring, fixtures and fittings and damaged stock where relevant. The scheme will not provide a contribution to loss of earnings or loss of business goodwill.

The Tánaiste said:

“We will be working hard to help businesses rebound from this and to secure jobs in the affected communities.  As with similar weather events in the past the Irish Red Cross Society will administer and make payments under the Scheme on behalf of my Department.”

The Minister of State for the Office of Public Works (OPW) Patrick O’Donovan TD said:

“On my visit to Bantry today, I have witnessed and heard first-hand from families, business owners and officials about the damage caused by Storm Barra last week. Opening the Humanitarian Support Scheme is an important, practical support for communities like these to help them deal with the devastating effects of flooding quickly. The Irish Government has committed to a €1.3bn investment in flood relief schemes under the renewed National Development Plan to 2030 and the OPW, in partnership with Local Authorities, is working to deliver a significant planned programme of flood relief schemes.”

This financial support is targeted at small businesses (up to 20 employees), sports clubs and community and voluntary organisations and will have two stages:

  1. The first stage will commence immediately and will provide a contribution of up to €5,000, depending on the scale of damage incurred. It is anticipated that this will meet the needs for the majority of those affected. The intention is to process payments as fast as possible.
  1. In the event, that the premises have incurred significant damages above €5,000, businesses can apply for additional financial support, following an assessment by the Irish Red Cross.  The total level of support available for both stages combined is capped at €20,000.

Applications forms for support will be available on the Irish Red Cross Society website: