In the past week, Ireland had battled some of the worst floods to be seen in the country in decades. So extensive is the devastation caused by the flooding, it has been described as a “one in 800 years event”. Rivers burst their banks, towns became flooded and thousands had to evacuate their homes. The worst hit areas were the south and west, even the country’s 2nd largest city could not escape the floods.
Last week saw Ireland up in arms after its shocking exit from the World Cup, but it was nothing to compare to the devastation which was yet to ensue later in the week, when the country witnessed the worst flooding in decades.
The worst hit counties were Galway, Clare, Cork and parts of Kerry, Fermanagh and Tipperary. Cork city suffered widespread flooding as the River Lee burst its banks and flooded areas such as Mardyke, the Quays, North Main Street and Lee Road. Western Road was also affected as well as Grand Parade and Washington Street. The west Cork towns of Bantry, Skibbereen, Clonakilty, Dunmanway and Bandon were also waterlogged in many parts.
County Galway was also hit badly by the flooding and in particular the town of Ballinasloe where the River Suck burst its banks. The towns of Gort and Claregalway were also affected as were many major roadways in the county.
In County Clare, the county town of Ennis was the worst affected with residents describing the flooding as the ‘worst in living memory’. Kilkenny was also affected and in particular the catchment area of the River Nore.
There was major disruption to public transport right across the country. Bus Eireann has now confirmed that Cork services are operating as normal today but the No 1 Orbital route is still experiencing delays. The Dublin-Galway service via Oranmore and Craughwell will resume today. All other bus routes in County Galway will operate as normal from today but may still experience some delays due to diversions.
Rail travel was also severely disrupted. Iarnrod Eireann, operators of Irish rail have resumed rail travel on the Limerick to Ennis line, but the Ballinasloe to Athlone line is still closed due to flooding. Passengers travelling by train from Dublin to Galway will have to get a bus transfer from Athlone to Galway city and vice versa.
As the country begins a major clean up of the areas affected by the flooding, insurance companies say the damage could cost up to €100 million.
Parts of Ireland experienced up to 4 times the normal rainfall for this time of the year and weather experts have claimed that this is a pattern we are going to see more of, due to climate change.
With another wet week in store, we strongly advise you to check out AA Roadwatch for travel alerts and updates on road closures/diversions in Ireland. If you are planning to travel by bus, its best to check out updates from Bus Eireann or if travelling by train the Iarnrod Eireann website.