Letterkenny hospital flooded for second year running

Incident occurs one year after over €25m of damage caused in another flood

The emergency department of Letterkenny General Hospital which was flooded last night.

The emergency department of Letterkenny General Hospital which was flooded last night.

 

There have been calls for an inquiry after Letterkenny General Hospital was flooded last night – exactly a year after more than €25 million of damage was caused in another flood.

Fire crews and sanitation trucks rushed to the scene of the flood yesterday evening as thousands of gallons of water poured into the grounds of the Co Donegal hospital.

It followed torrential downpours yesterday evening which saw rainwater gushing from a main road and down embankments up to the doors of the recently refurbished Accident and Emergency Department.

Last year’s flood came as a result of a local drain bursting its banks. However yesterday’s flood came from a completely direction - with a huge downfall of rain - catching hospital authorities by surprise.

A JCB digger, which is being rented by the HSE and which has been on standby since the last flood, was transporting huge sandbags to the doors of the hospital last night.

Water containers were used to pump thousands of gallons of water from the car park.

As darkness began to fall it appeared that the accident and emergency unit had been secured. However there were unconfirmed reports that water could have entered the building through another entrance.

Local county councillor Gerry McMonagle (SF) has now called for an independent inquiry into the design plan of the new wing of the hospital which in built in a hollow.

A full investigation and report into the cause of last year’s flooding is still being compiled by the HSE.

Cllr McMonagle, who lives close to the hospital, gathered with dozens of other people last night, as the drama unfolded at Donegal’s largest hospital.

He said: “We need a full public enquiry into the design of this building and why it was allowed to be built on this location.

“The people of Donegal need answers. This is a disaster. We don’t know how much damage has been caused at this stage.

“It is a year since the last flood. Have we not learned anything form it?” he asked.

Cllr McMonagle also questioned if the HSE will be able to insure the building in the coming months and years.

“The rebuild and refurbishment of this hospital cost €25 million or thereabouts following the last flood. What company would insure this hospital in its current condition?”

Gardai and the emergency services remained at the hospital last night as further rain continued to fall.