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Real cost of flood damage escalates way beyond €18m Council bill

Francis Farragher



URGENT short-term aid measures are being sought this week in Galway after the recent storms left island and coastal communities reeling – while tens of thousands of acres of land across the south and east of the county are now under water.

This week, Galway County Council have submitted a long term repair estimate of over €18 million to the Department of the Environment but there have been strong calls for a ‘quick access ‘national emergency fund to be set up.

Floodwaters are continuing to rise in the South Galway area as of last evening with some local national schools, a nursing home and a housing estate under threat of being cut off.

“This is as bad if not worse than 2009. The same thing is happening all over again and in the meantime nothing was done – it really is serious when schools, a nursing home and 75 houses near Ballinderreen are under threat,” long time flood campaigner, Mattie Hallinan told the Connacht Tribune this week.

While Galway County Council have confirmed the submission of an €18.2m damage estimate for the county – likely to increase with the ongoing bad weather – West Galway Fianna Fáil TD, Éamon Ó Cuív said that a short-term national emergency fund should already been set up.

“We have an oil depot that can’t be accessed on Inishmore, graveyards are under threat along the coast, many small roads are impassable – the setting up of an immediate emergency aid fund would greatly help local communities over the coming days and weeks,” said Deputy Ó Cuív.

Liam Allen, of the North Connemara Action Group, said that immediate assistance was needed for places like Inishbofin and other areas along the coast where families were really at crisis point.

“The water is now coming very close to many of the house on Inishbofin and if the islanders were supplied with what are known as crimp-on cages to put stones into, this would be a very practical defence that they could put in place themselves over the next couple of days,” said Liam Allen. 

According to South Connemara councillor, Seosamh Ó Cuaig, the front-line Council staff in Connemara did ‘an exceptional job’ over recent weeks but added that there were only 40 of them to cover a region that had a population bigger than either Leitrim or Longford.

“Thankfully, there has been no serious injury or loss of life but families are very upset over coastal graveyards that have been disturbed by the flooding such as Muiris Maora,” said Cllr. Ó Cuaig.

On the east side of the county, local Shannon Callows farmer and Chairman of the IFA’s National Flood Project Team, Michael Silke, said that tens of thousands of acres in this area were now under water. “We are literally an inch of rain away from another flooding disaster,” said Michael Silke.

He said that farmers and householders in the Shannon Callows area had completely lost faith in the political process, describing OPW Junior Minister, Brian Hayes, as ‘an unmitigated disaster’ in terms of coming to grips with the flood problems of the area.

See full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune

Connacht Tribune tributes to loved ones




These past few months have seen so many communities left to silently mourn family members and friends, whose funerals they would have attended in such numbers, were it not for the current Covid-19 restrictions.

But those that are gone have not been, and will not be, forgotten – which is why we want to open the pages of the Connacht Tribune to you to tell their stories.

If you’ve lost a loved one, whether to Covid-19 or not, or if your community or organization or sports club is mourning the death of a valued member and friend, you can email us your tribute and we will publish it in our papers.


All you have to do it to click on the above link, and it will take you to a short set of questions which you can fill in – and then add whatever you feel tells the story of the life of your friend, family member or colleague.

You can email that with a photograph to us, to or you can post it to ‘Obituaries’, Connacht Tribune, 21 Liosban Business Park – and please enclose a contact number in case we have any queries.

We sympathise with anyone who has lost a loved one at this awful time, particularly given that so many people were unable to mourn with them and their family in person – and we hope that this will help in some small way to show those family members that we are all united in grief, even from a distance.

This is an additional feature we are providing alongside our long-established weekly Family Notices section where loved ones are remembered immediately by Months Mind Notices and annual anniversary remembrances.  You can contact our team for further details at

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WATCH: The Olivers to the rescue … again!

Enda Cunningham



Father and son rescue team Patrick and Morgan Oliver were back in action in Salthill this morning, when they helped a swimmer who got into difficulty.

A member of the public raised the alarm at around 10.30am and the Coastguard sought the assistance of Galway Lifeboat who launched from Galway Docks.

Two members of the lifeboat shore crew made their way to the promenade to assist in the rescue.

Patrick and Morgan Oliver were fishing off Salthill at the time and spotted the man taking refuge on Palmers Rock about 200 metres from Salthill shore. They took him on board their fishing boat and brought him back to Galway Docks. Galway Lifeboat in the meantime was stood down. 

The man was taken into the Lifeboat station where he received treatment for symptoms of hypothermia until an ambulance arrived.

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Assurances given on progress of road, bridge and bus projects

Francis Farragher



From this week’s Galway City Tribune – It will take time and a lot of money, but the city’s network of major transport projects will proceed on schedule – that was the assurance given this week to councillors by City Council Chief Executive, Brendan McGrath.

Councillors had expressed concerns at their meeting on Monday about the slow rate of progress being made with major capital projects including two new pedestrian bridges over the River Corrib.

However, Brendan McGrath told the meeting that the timelines for the range of capital transport projects – while challenging – were reasonable, pragmatic and achievable.

“All of the projects are moving forward but we must adhere to all the procedures and the different stages that have to be complied with: we have no choice in that,” said Brendan McGrath.

Senior City Council Engineer, Uinsinn Finn, in reply to a number of queries about potential new bus routes, said that while the Council worked closely with Bus Éireann and the bus companies, the local authority didn’t decide on the routes.

Earlier in the meeting, Cllr Peter Keane (FF), asked ‘how it could take 63 months’ to deliver a pedestrian/cycle bridge over the Corrib even though the piers (old Corrib Railway Line) were already in place for the project.

“How can it take over five years to put a bridge like this over the Corrib,” he asked, after hearing that this €11 million Greenways-linked project would not be completed until 2026.

There is a snappier timescale for the Salmon Weir Pedestrian/Cycle Bridge – to be located adjacent to the existing structure on the southern side – with planning consent expected by next Summer and a completion date set for the end of 2022.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of the story, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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