Further chaos now inevitable
Clean-up under way but more heavy rain is due
By Brian McDonald - Tuesday December 01 2009
HOUSEHOLDERS in flood-ravaged parts of the West and midlands were warned yesterday
that it's not over yet.
Met Eireann, the ESB and the Irish Farmers Association were all advising home and
property owners to remain on alert as further flooding is now inevitable.
And adding to the woes of families in parts of Co Galway was the issuing of a new
'boil water' notice yesterday following the discovery of e-coli and other
coliforms in the public system supplying thousands of homes.
Recent sampling of water quality in the Mid-Galway Regional Supply Scheme showed
that the treatment plant had been compromised due to the flooding. All users have
now been advised to boil water for drinking, preparing food, and brushing teeth.
The Mid-Galway Scheme serves an extensive area from Abbeyknockmoy to the north,
Ballydavid to the south, Brackloon to the east and Coolarne to the west. It also
includes Monivea and Colmanstown.
A number of group water schemes in the catchment area are also affected by the
Liam Gavin from the Water Services Department of Galway County Council said: "We
intend to flush out our mains and get the chlorine levels right again and take
further sampling over the next few days.
"When the sampling is satisfactory, we will advise consumers as to when the 'boil
water' notice will be removed."
A 'boil water' notice has already been in place in Ballinasloe for more than a
The water treatment plant in the town was under a metre of water at the peak of
the flooding. It is expected to take up to eight weeks to fully restore the
Around Co Galway yesterday water levels were receding, with some respite for
families in Ballinasloe and in south Galway.
In Co Offaly, vast areas of farmland have been submerged since the River Brosna
burst its banks over the weekend. Banagher and Shannon Harbour were worst affected
with dozens of farms under water.
Chairman of Laois, Offaly Westmeath IFA Aidan Larkin told the Irish Independent:
"It's not looking too good over the next few days as we are expecting more rain.
"Already, there are hundreds of acres flooded, as well as some houses in Shannon
Harbour and thankfully there is a great effort from all over to help farmers with
fodder and providing accommodation for cattle.
"If it was down to the farming community to lift this country out of the mess it
is in, then you couldn't pick a better group."
The Holy Season of Christmas, our traditional season of giving, is nearly upon us
and thousands of people in Ireland have suffered the loss of everything they owned
as a result of the recent unprecedented floods. Out of tragedy sometimes comes
hope and opportunity. This tragedy presents us, the Ancient Order of Hibernians in
America, with the opportunity to make a significant contribution to alleviate the
pain and suffering of our Irish brothers and sisters. In 2001, following the
attack on the World Trade Center, Sinn Fein in a very admirable and generous
gesture donated the proceeds of their annual fund raising dinner in New York to
the victims of our worst tragedy. Perhaps we should take a page from their book
and consider a similar donation to the Irish flood victims.