Businesses flooded for second time in three weeks

Homes evacuated in Limerick as tidal swells hit, west sweeping away coastal defences

Amid flooding in St Mary’s Park, Limerick, where the river Shannon burst its banks,  Ger Hogan helps  to ferry people to safety.  Photograph: Liam Burke/Press 22

Amid flooding in St Mary’s Park, Limerick, where the river Shannon burst its banks, Ger Hogan helps to ferry people to safety. Photograph: Liam Burke/Press 22

Mon, Feb 3, 2014, 01:01

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Storms and sea swells which battered the west coast at the weekend caused renewed damage to homes and businesses which had suffered during the floods of three weeks ago.

The damage was particularly bad in Limerick, where many houses were evacuated, and in Galway, where the worst of the flooding occurred at high tide early on Saturday in the Flood Street, Spanish Parade and Claddagh areas, while the sea surged over Salthill promenade.

The Eglinton Canal burst its banks at Raven Terrace and Lower Dominick Street, flooding well-known music venues including the Róisín Dubh and Monroes.

Labour councillor Niall McNelis, who runs a business at the foot of Quay Street, had just put in a new floor and had sandbags and boarding in place when the sea came up through the foundations early on Saturday.

Salthill promenade reopened yesterday with only the road leading to Silver Strand near Barna remaining closed.

On Inishbofin island, the pier on the east end was destroyed. Inishbofin island manager Simon Murray said: “The old pier on the east end is now like a child threw out Lego bricks. It’s in bits, destroyed. It’s no longer a pier.”

Galway City Council said it would be working with the Office of Public Works on medium- and long-term solutions to coastal surges.

Minister for State at the OPW Brian Hayes will be in Limerick this morning to visit areas such as St Mary’s Park, where Defence Forces were called in to evacuate people from their homes.

Park Road remained impassable yesterday due to flooding and the city council said there was a risk of further flooding.

In Kerry, the northern peninsulas appear to have borne the brunt of the weekend tidal flooding, with the fishing village of Kilshanning in the Maherees cut off on Saturday and the town of Ballylongford on the Shannon estuary flooded after swells of 5.1 metres at early tide.

In the Cashen area of Ballybunion, five donkeys were rescued from a flooded field after Valentia Coast Guard tasked the local sea cliff and rescue unit to bring the animals to safety.

Meanwhile, two fishing boats, both Irish, had to be escorted to safety on Saturday to Dingle and Castletownbere after getting into difficulties.