asked the Minister for Local Government if he will make a special grant available to Mayo County Council to repair the severe damage caused by recent storms at Louisbourg, County Mayo.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Mayo Storm Damage.
While there are no funds at my disposal to enable me to make a special grant as suggested, I have indicated to the local authority that appropriate assistance can be given from such funds as are available. For instance, any applications for grants under the Housing Acts for carrying out repairs to houses damaged by strom will be favourably considered. Again, I have agreed that the cost of restoring the bridges and of ancillary works may be met out of the general grant from the Road Fund for 1975 and succeeding years. In this connection, I may mention that I understand that Cregganbaun bridge is now open to all traffic, that Killian bridge is open to light traffic and that a footbridge has been provided at Carrowinsky. Further works are proposed.
Is the Minister aware that Mayo County Council have found it necessary this year to add a further 26p to the rates in order to improve the standard of roads in the county? In view of that, would he consider making money available from the Department of Local Government in order to assist?
The Deputy is talking about county roads and it was never the practice of the Department to make 100 per cent grants for county roads. All counties have to make provision. As I told the Deputy, I know of the situation in regard to the freak storm which caused the damage over there. I have mentioned the facilities we propose to give and if it is possible to help in any way the Department have already proved that they are prepared to give that help. They sent officials along at a very early stage to try to assist.