After a night of distributing and stacking donated sandbags to Galway residents and businesses, Social Democrats candidate Niall Ó Tuathail, says Galway Councils were “simply not good enough” and “need to learn from this for future floods”.
Following damaging Tuesday evening floods, there were worries of further flooding during the high tide at 5.30am on Wednesday morning. The response from Galwegians was impressive, according to Mr Ó Tuathail who said an amazing group of volunteers and council workers scrambled to get enough sandbags to protect businesses and homes.
“For example, EMC in Westlink Commercial Park in Oranmore donated 700 bags of sandless sandbags worth almost €8,000. They were very easy to get around to homes and businesses at short notice while the Council and Army were preparing traditional sandbags.
“Kazanoo hairdressers on Fairhill Road also filled the sandless bags with water for distribution around Dominick Street”. The Galway native also praised the Galway City Council workers and the army.
“The council operatives and the army were up through the night clearing drains and filling sandbags - they don’t get enough credit for the work they have to do on nights like this. However, he believes the councils need to learn from this in the future.
“Galway City and County Councils were simply not good enough yesterday. I don’t want to throw blame, and I know everyone worked hard after the first flood, but we must be better prepared as a city for floods that are becoming all the more common with climate change.
“There was an Orange weather warning plus a record high tide. Either of those should have rung alarm bells in the Councils and both together should have kicked off a process that would have prevented damage from the first floods.
“There should be better plans for distribution of bags that are known in advance by local businesses and homes. We should also have plans for using and managing the many volunteers who would have happily helped. Now Galwegians, the State and insurance companies will have to pick up the tab for preventable damage.
“I look forward to seeing a statement from Galway City Council and Galway County Council on what they have learned from this, and what plans are for future floods,” he concluded.