Connemara takes brunt of Atlantic storm

High tides cause some flooding in Galway city


West and north-west Connemara and the islands bore the brunt of this morning’s storm and high tides, which also caused some further flooding in Galway city.

However, the south to south-easterly winds were not as severe as those which battered the Atlantic seaboard early last Friday, with both tide and sea swell ripping away coastal roads and causing havoc in parts of the city and county.

Local authorities have continued to advise caution along exposed shores, and to be aware of the risk of flying debris and sea surges caused by gusting wind combined with tides.

The severe weather system caused by a series of depressions rolling in from the Atlantic is expected to ease on Wednesday.

West of Galway city, gardaí advised motorists coming through Spiddal to exercise caution, following severe wave damage on the seafront. Sea surges tore up a coastal walkway between the village’s two piers.

Some coastal roads in the Ballyconneely and Roundstone areas were impassable, while the graveyard at Gurteen was cut off by damage to the access road.

Several other graveyards between Spiddal and Ceantar-na-nOileán have also been affected, while Inishbofin, which lost its lighthouse in last Friday’s hurricane, has sustained damage to roads and buttressing.

Late last week, eight cars were damaged on the island and Cleggan piers, with several vehicles being swept into the sea.

ESB crews were restoring power to up to 100 homes affected by lightning this morning in areas extending from Recess in the west across to Tuam in the north of the county.

Galway City Council has re-opened the road from Blackrock through to Salthill, which had been closed earlier due to “over-topping” of Salthill promenade by the heavy swell.

However, the route from Seapoint to Grattan road remains closed due to flooding,while Grattan Road is due to re-open once debris has been cleared.

A small amount of flooding occurred in the Spanish Arch/Fishmarket area during this morning’s high tide, but roads remained open.

City council staff have been removing debris from Sallthill and from Ballyoughane beaches, and pedestrians were advised to avoid Salthill promenade. However, several swimmers ignored safety warnings to take a dip at Blackrock during the mid-tide.

Galway Chamber of Commerce president Jim Fennell said that “serious remedial action” including Government funding for “long term flood defences” was required to avoid a recurrence of the flooding which had affected businesses in the city and Salthill.

“This is not the first time that this has happened in recent years and it cannot continue,”Mr Fennell said.

“ We can’t change the weather and consequently, in the absence of improved flood defences, we should not be taken by surprise when the weather causes flooding in our city. We must look to the development of proper long term flood defences as temporary measures are clearly not adequate,” he said.