A city councillor is demanding a “full review” be carried out into Galway’s flood defences, following the severe flooding caused by Storm Eleanor this week.
The call has come from Sinn Féin city councillor and Galway West election candidate Mairéad Farrell, who said the city “needs to put itself in as strong a position as possible to respond immediately to these types of occurrences” and that only a full review of current practice and procedures will achieve this.
Storm Eleanor proved to be far worse than initially expected. While City Hall has come in for some criticism over its response, Cllr Farrell pointed out that council officials were reviewing weather indicators “on a regular basis throughout the day”, but despite this, “the signs did not point to the severity of the situation”. However she praised “people on the ground, both local volunteers and council employees”, who did “trojan work” in bringing sandbags to houses and business from Salthill to the Spanish Arch.
Cllr Farrell pointed out that global warming is a major factor in fuelling higher winds and, as a result, the increased “level and frequency of flooding in Galway and across the country”. She said: “We need to look again at how we approach this. Our immediate concern must be with those whose homes and businesses have been damaged by the floods. They need to get all the support the State can give them in order to lessen the impact that this week’s flooding will have on them going forward.”