There has been a huge community response to the recent flooding that severely affected many parts of north Donegal.
On Sunday there was a large turnout for an event hosted at the clubhouse of Buncrana GAA club for both those affected by the disaster, and those wishing to help out in the aftermath of the floods.
The club experienced some flooding on its pitch and clubhouse, but once they had cleared up the mess club officials got busy helping others affected in their community by holding an open day for all to attend.
Buncrana GAA Club's Welfare officer, Aine Daly, said it was a great success with many people attending who had been left homeless by the floods and many others offering practical help to those affected.
Aine said: “On Wednesday and Thursday people began asking if they could help or what could they do. They didn’t know where to go to offer help. We had been listening to some of the stories on Highland Radio on Thursday and one of the girls here said that we should do something.So we just decided to get together on Thursday night and see what we could come up with.
“We have a number of professional people in the club, as a well as having a number of our members affected by the floods as well. We thought it would be good if we could just get together and have a cup of tea and chat, and see if they need help and what could we do for them. It snowballed from there and we thought if we are going to have it open then we need to have some professionals on board to direct us. We had the Department of Social Protection who were able to help a number of people with their applications for Humanitarian Aid and stage two payments. We had the Red Cross as there was a number of sporting organisations affected as well, so they’ll be getting funding released by the Government to the Red Cross for sporting clubs that haven’t got insurance to cover them for flood damage. So we invited the clubs along to get their spoke in with the Red Cross.”
They also had The Samaritans and local counseling service, Insight Inishowen, on hand to help by listening to those affected.
“It was a resounding success and it was a very emotional day because a lot of people came down to offer their services as well as volunteers. We created a database for yourselves, so if further down the line someone comes along and says 'I need five men to empty or paint their house’, they just ring up,” she added.
She said they were grateful to local businesses who provided food for the event and they are now allowing those forced to move from their homes access to the clubhouse during the day to do washing, cooking or simply a space to have some time and space to themselves if they have been forced to seek refuge in cramped accommodation.
She also urged those affected to apply for the Humanitarian Aid with a “Claim Form for Supplementary Welfare Allowance” by simply filling out sections one, two and three, which will qualify them for €150 for each residing in the home.