Wild weather along the Atlantic Way

A severe weather alert remains in place today after torrential rain sparked localised flash flooding, leading to the cancellation or postponement of a number of sporting fixtures — most notably Listowel Races.

Weather warnings were issued to motorists to take extra care, including alerts about conditions in parts of Connemara and Kerry with drivers being told to travel in exceptional circumstances only.

Among the worst-hit areas was Clifden, where the Sky Road was closed following a landslide and Beach Road was shut due to flooding, as was the R379 road between Cleggan Cross and Cleggan Village and the N59 from Clifden to Letterfrack.

David Gavin from the Sky Road told Today with Seán O’Rourke on RTÉ Radio how a landslide of earth and debris hit his mother’s home on Sunday night.

“It was about 8.30 last night, my mum and my sister and my nephew were in the house and they heard this bang,” said Mr Gavin. “They went into the kitchen to investigate and when they opened the utility door there was about a metre of smoke and stones on the floor.”

“It’s something you’d never think would happen here,” said Mr Gavin who worked through the night with his brother and a neighbour with a digger to clear the area.

Floods were also reported from Mulranny to Achill in Mayo and on the Ring of Kerry between Kells and Caherciveen.

Severe weather in Kerry halted the shooting of the Hollywood blockbuster Star Wars VIII on Skellig Michael and the Listowel Harvest Racing Festival.

Wild weather along the Atlantic Way

Star Wars camera crew with their helicopter in the compound outside Portmagee on Monday ahead of filming of Star Wars. Picture by Don MacMonagle 

Roads remain treacherous in Kerry with at least three oil spills resulting from the impact on the wet and flood conditions on car engines.

The South Kerry Ploughing Championships and Harvest Show was due to take place at a farm near Killarney but had to be postponed until September 27.

Sporting and other fixtures were also cancelled after heavy rainfall on Friday left ground sodden. In Templenoe, near Kenmare, the pitch was flooded up to the goal posts.

Kerry County Council warned rivers and drainage systems were at capacity and emergency crews were on stand by.

Last night, the Automobile Association warned motorists to take extra care and to only drive through flooded areas if they were confident their vehicle could withstand the depth of water on the roads. “Roads remain very wet in parts of western coastal counties following heavy rain throughout the day,” said the AA.

“Remember, if you are driving in wet conditions, to reduce your speed and only drive through water if you know it’s not too deep for your car.”

Met Éireann forecasts that heavy rain will clear today and that temperatures may rise slightly towards the end of the week.

However, temperatures are expected to remain below average for this time of year.


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