Families marooned by Storm Eleanor

Community Employment Scheme members William Conneely (left) and Eamon Walsh cleaning up the promenade at Spiddal this week following the recent stormy weather. Photo: Joe O'Shaughnessy.

Nine families in South Galway were marooned for up to four days due to floods from Storm Eleanor.

Though there was no threat of flooding to the houses at Tawnagh West near Traught Beach in Kinvara, a glitch with sluice gates resulted in flooding that made the road impassable from Tuesday to Saturday.

A local Fianna Fáil political representative has blamed ‘meddling’ by Galway County Council for the problem, which has angered locals. Galway East TD Anne Rabbitte has also claimed the flood plan for Kinvara is out-of-date and needs to be revised.

“Luckily there was a green field that wasn’t flooded, and the families had to use that to get in and out of their homes. It was very scary being isolated and cut-off. People were worried that they would be marooned for a prolonged period of time and they were angry because this was preventable.

“The County Council was meddling with the sluice gates during the Summer. Whatever they did with them it, they weren’t working properly and it meant that the water from the Atlantic came into the inlet, but it couldn’t get out because of the glitch with the sluice gates,” said Deputy Rabbitte.

As well as at Tawnagh West, large parcels of land throughout County Galway were submerged in water following the storm. Galway City was the worst affected but areas right across the county including Kinvara, Portumna, Clarinbridge, Oranmore and localised areas throughout North and South Connemara took a hammering from the storm and associated flooding.

A handful of retailers at the Bridge Retail Park off Main Street, Clarinbridge were damaged by Tuesday’s floods, which made the roads through the town impassable for a period.

Locals reported foodstuff such as loaves of bread, lettuce and packets of sausages floating in the floodwaters of Clarinbridge in the immediate aftermath. Those damaged included Poppyseed restaurant, Clarinbridge Garden Centre, Killeen’s Pharmacy and Heneghan’s Centra.

Some remained closed for a number of days but the Council had the area cleaned-up soon after the event.

“It came and went so quickly. The car park at Paddy Burke’s was flooded within five minutes. The roads were impassable. There was quite a bit of damage,” said one resident.

See full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune.