Over 300 parts of Donegal road network damaged by floods

Incidents range from serious damage to bridges, to roads being washed away

The bridge at Swan Park in Buncrana, which was destroyed in the floods in Donegal

The bridge at Swan Park in Buncrana, which was destroyed in the floods in Donegal

 

More than 300 parts of the road network across the Inishowen peninsula in Co Donegal have been damaged by last week’s extensive flooding.

The details of the damage were given in an updated assessment of the devastation brought to the region at a meeting of the Inishowen Municipal Authority on Monday.

The incidents ranged from serious structural damages to bridges, to rural roads being washed away in the downpours.

Councillors were told it would take until the end of this week to give even a rough assessment of the cost of the damage, which will certainly run into tens of millions of euro.

“The council’s roads service is continuing to assess the impact of the floods on the 1,500km road network in Inishowen,” said a county council spokesman. “Eighty per cent of this survey is complete and it is expected that a ballpark cost for the repairs will be available at the end of the week. The next step is to identify and cost design solutions for the issues identified and this work is under way in conjunction with the Councils Road Design team.”

Displaced families

To date 47 families have registered with Donegal County Council as being displaced following the floods last week, including 21 families from Burnfoot and 14 from Buncrana, with the remainder from Carndonagh, Muff, Clonmany and Malin.

The council is working with each family on a case-by-case basis to determine what assistance is required beyond the initial emergency period. It is likely that some families will not be able to return to their homes for a long time.

Long-term temporary accommodation is being offered to a number of families, and further accommodation will be made available over the coming weeks.

The council has said it is continuing to co-ordinate the support being provided by the Defence Forces in a number of private housing estates and other areas affected. Assistance has been provided in Páirc an Ghrianáin and Lios na Gréine in Burnfoot, at Riverside and Elm Park estates in Buncrana and in housing estates and other areas in Clonmany and Carndonagh.

Skips and dehumidifiers have also been provided to households and small businesses; to date, 65 households and businesses have availed of skips and 50 dehumidifiers have been provided.

Heart-wrenching

Séamus Neely, chief executive of Donegal County Council acknowledged and thanked the support the council has received from Government, agencies and communities in response to this major flooding incident.

“The devastation that has been experienced by so many families, businesses and individuals has been heart-wrenching,” said Cllr Jack Murray, chairman of Inishowen Municipal District Council. “The strength, kindness and determination of the people of the peninsula and the county has been to the fore over the last number of days and this has been vital in helping all those affected cope with the situation they find themselves in.”

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin arrived in Donegal on Monday to see the damage caused by the floods. Mr Martin visited a number of areas along with local TDs Charlie McConalogue and Pat “The Cope” Gallagher.

“It’s just very, very lucky that nobody lost their life,” he said.“When an emergency like this emerges and a devastating storm like this occurs, then the State has to get involved and help communities to get back on their footing. It will take funding, but given the nature and scale of the damage I don’t think anyone would begrudge funding being put into these areas.”

“When you look at children and look at how their whole lives have been turned upside-down, I think we have to have follow-through for these children.”