VIDEO: Traders in flood-hit Midleton to meet as Storm Frank clean-up continues

Traders in Midleton are due to meet tomorrow night as people in the flood-hit town continue the clean-up after Storm Frank.
VIDEO: Traders in flood-hit Midleton to meet as Storm Frank clean-up continues

The East Cork town was just one of a number of locations deluged by flood water after Christmas.

One of the businesses hit, the acclaimed Farm Gate Restaurant, had never been affected by flooding and staff are now working on repairing the damage in advance of a planned January 19 re-opening.

Sally O’Brien of the Farm Gate said the damage was “horrendous” and that no final total had been placed on how much it will cost, but she said some other homes and businesses were even more badly hit.

There is also the issue of flood insurance in future. Ms O’Brien said: “We have been told that there is no question of getting flood cover again.”

She said the absence of flood cover would place question marks over whether or not, were a similar weather event to occur, the restaurant could again recover and re-open.

There are no such concerns on this occasion, but tomorrow night’s meeting at the Midleton Park Hotel is likely to draw a large crowd amid calls for a plan to ensure the town avoids a repeat of the Storm Frank damage in future.

Ms O’Brien said the drains in the town were “still not working” but that community spirit in Midleton had been amazing and that she hoped the meeting would not be characterised only be anger at what might have been done.

“Anger is not going to solve anything,” she added.

Elsewhere, the body of a man was found on flooded lands near his home in Co Clare during a massive multi-agency search.

The discovery was made at around 2.20pm on Saturday by teams searching for 65-year-old bachelor farmer Michael Vaughan.

Mr Vaughan, who lived alone at Moyree near Ruan, was last seen in Ennis at lunchtime on Wednesday and was reported missing on Friday when his family became concerned for his wellbeing.

Gardaí and members of Clare Civil Defence commenced a local search on Friday night concentrating on lands and buildings around Mr Vaughan’s home. It is understood that his car and mobile phone were found at the house.

Early on Saturday, the search resumed and expanded to cover surrounding properties, outbuildings, and hundreds of acres of farmland, scrub, as well as local lakes and rivers.

The Shannon-based Irish Coast Guard search and rescue helicopter carried out a search of the area for a time with no sign of the man.

The Doolin unit of the Irish Coast Guard was requested to assist and travelled with a boat and quad bike to help search the area. Dozens of locals combed fields, ditches, and roads in the hope of finding any trace of Mr Vaughan.

Divers, assisted by Clare Civil Defence Swiftwater and Flood First Responders, searched the area around an overflown river. Search teams located Mr Vaughan’s body on flooded lands close to his home.

The body was then recovered from the water by members of Clare Civil Defence and removed to University Hospital Limerick, where an autopsy is expected to be carried out.

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