Brigid bashes coastal communities

The westerly wind driving Storm Brigid switched the focus of the destruction witnessed in January, bringing havoc to a new list of coastal communities.

The areas worst affected by southerly storm in mid- January were largely sheltered from the storm that peaked with the high tide in the early hours of Saturday morning. However, as clean-ups continued in parts of Galway, Clare, and Kerry, new problems emerged in neighbouring areas.

Inishbofin, off the coast of Connemara, was one of the worst hit areas. The island, with just under 200 inhabitants, was hit by a combination of high tides and strong winds that ripped tracts through parts of the island.

Simon Murray, manager of Inishbofin Development Company, said: “We got an unbelievable hammering because the direction of the wind pushed the sea on both sides of the island... The old pier on the East End looks now like a child threw out Lego bricks. It’s in bits, destroyed. It’s no longer a pier.”

In Clare, boulders from the pier wall in Doolin were thrown inland. The paving was ripped up along parts of the promenade in Kilkee. Coastal roads around Doonbeg and the Loop Head Peninsula were also badly damaged.

In Kerry, Ballybunion sea and cliff rescue had to abandon its boathouse due to storm damage. Its work included the rescue of five stranded donkeys.

Further south, around 20 houses in the Kilshannig area near Castlegregory were cut off by flooding and debris along the coast road. Met Éireann has forecast further gale-force gusts today and later this week.

These are expected to come from the south, and veering to the south-east, which at high tide will put the Cork coastline in line for more flooding.


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