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Dublin: 3 °C Monday 20 January, 2020

Search & rescue crew distraught after storm causes ‘tens of thousands’ in damage to centre

The beach-side boat-house of Ballybunion Sea & Cliff Rescue took a battering in the stormy weather overnight.


The scene at Ladies Beach, Ballybunion after high tide today [Ballybunion Rescue/Facebook]

VOLUNTEERS AT BALLYBUNION Sea & Cliff Rescue in north Kerry were unable to gain access to their centre this morning as waves continued to batter the facility, but they’re already estimating the damage caused by the overnight storm could cost anything up to €20,000 to put right.

A decision was made last week to move boats and other equipment to shelter at an off-coast location, in anticipation of the strong winds, swells and spring tides that have hit the area over the last few days.

The building escaped any damage until last night — and after high tide this morning it became apparent that its three large ‘roller doors’ had been badly damaged.

Volunteers were waiting to gain access to survey the damage this morning, but said they feared the repair bill could be astronomical.

“We’re down here in the thick of it — it’s looking pretty bad from where we’re standing at the moment,” spokesperson Grace Flahive told

“The problem is, whatever the cost, there’s no funding for this so we’ll be knocking on doors to try and get this covered — we very much rely on the generosity of locals and other donors so no doubt we’ll be fundraising in the near future.”

Flahive said that as the damage was assessed, the crew remained “on 24 hour alert” to respond to call-outs should the need arise.

Established in 1986, Ballybunion Sea & Cliff Rescue is manned by 35 volunteers and works in cooperation with the Irish Coast Guard.

You can find out more about the unit at their website or their Facebook page.

Read: Roads closed in Galway, Cork & Waterford following high-tide flooding

Read: Met Éireann extends weather warning as wind picks up across country

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