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Dublin: 7°C Saturday 5 December 2020

Calls for national emergency plan to be enacted to deal with flooding

Irish farmers have called for a national emergency plan to be enacted to deal with the damage.

The situation in Castlefinn, Co Donegal earlier today
The situation in Castlefinn, Co Donegal earlier today
Image: Hannah Parkes

IRISH FARMERS HAVE called for an action plan to be put in place to deal with the severe flooding.

This follows the 36 hours of heavy downpours and gales across the country, with the west, north-west and midlands worst affected.

The IFA has called for the National Emergency Coordination Group to be convened and a plan put in place to deal with the flood damage.

This would involve bringing together officials from various State agencies, including the Office of Public Works, Met Éireann, the Department of Finance, the Gardaí, Defence Forces and the Coast Guard.

The group exists to enact a front-line plan in circumstances where a national response is required.

The IFA’s Flooding Project Team chairman Tom Turley called on Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney and Minister for Public Works Simon Harris to immediately take the action.

Already, IFA is reporting devastation to thousands of acres of farmland, households cut off, and animals having to be moved to higher ground. The problem is particularly acute on the River Shannon where already Lough Allen has reached the peak water levels of the 2009 winter floods.

He predicted that the situation will get worse over the next 24 hours as water moves away from the country’s various river systems.

Currently a strategy for dealing with rivers that have burst their banks is in operation by the Office of Public Works, although the IFA has said that this does not sufficiently take account of the level of devastation to farm land and farm businesses.

Ongoing power problems

Around the country a number of homes are still without power after Storm Desmond.

ESB workers have been out since early this morning repairing faults.

Across the country there are still interruptions in a number of places, with Leitrim, Sligo, Mayo and Galway all affected.

power outages Source: ESB Networks

Here is how things are looking around the country today:


The scene in Castlefinn, Co Donegal earlier today.

IMG_1376 The situation in Castlefinn, Co Donegal earlier today Source: Hannah Parkes


Sligo Town and Collooney earlier.


Bandon in Co Cork is still heavily flooded. The Defence Forces were earlier called in to deal with the recovery effort in the area.

The Bandon River FEWS (flood early warning system), which had been on a Yellow alert (minor flooding) for several days was upgraded to an Orange alert (serious flooding) at midday on Saturday and further upgraded to a Red alert (major flooding) about an hour later giving significant advance notice to the community of the seriousness of the situation.

Sandbags were distributed to premises throughout the afternoon but it was late in the evening before flooding commenced at South Main Street, Watergate Street and the N71 as far as the roundabout at Baxter’s Bridge which were closed to traffic until Sunday morning. The river peaked at 3.4metres around 2.30am and emergency crews were engaged throughout the night with County Fire Service units from Bandon, Kinsale and Clonakilty deployed.

The situation in Skibbereen was also monitored throughout the day as levels in the Ilen River increased dramatically.

Chief executive of Cork County Council Tim Lucey said the towns of Bandon and Skibereen were on standby all day with levels in the Rivers Bandon and Ilen rising.


The railway tracks between Dromod and Longford remain flooded after Storm Desmond.

- Additional reporting by Michelle Hennessy.

Read: Stand down: It looks like Storm Desmond has blown its last breath

Also: Photos show extent of Storm Desmond flooding across the country

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