‘It’s hell again. Politicians don’t care’: Flooding nightmare on the Shannon, with more rain on the way

For the residents of Springfield, Clonlara, Co Clare, the nightmare of flooding has returned.

‘It’s hell again. Politicians don’t care’: Flooding nightmare on the Shannon, with more rain on the way

Update - 8.32pm: There are already reports of high water on Shannon tributaries this evening.

Flooding is causing delays on the Borrisokane to Cloghan road at the border between Tipperary and Offaly, near the Little Brosna River.

The River Suck is also high at Ballinasloe in east Co. Galway.

Earlier:For the residents of Springfield, Clonlara, Co Clare, the nightmare of flooding has returned.

Evacuated from their homes after the River Shannon burst its banks, they are bracing themselves for more “misery”.

Around 7,000 sandbags, and pumping generators, were delivered to 10 houses, some of which have been cut off from roads and are now effectively languishing on islands.

The nightmare of devastating floods in 1995, 2009, and 2016 returned for Joe and Geraldine Quinlivan, who have built a sandbag barrier around their bungalow.

“It’s bringing back hell again,” said Joe.

“Politicians just don’t seem to care. You’ll get the politicians here when the media arrive, and when they get their faces on the papers and on the television; they go away after that, and that’s what they have been doing since 1995.”

Joe believes the solution lies in dredging trees and silt on a stretch of the Shannon about a mile from his home. However, he said, his requests have fallen on deaf ears.

“There are two types of people in this country, one that will do it and one that will talk about it,” he said. “Give me the man that will do it.”

In 2016, the family spent a seven weeks pumping floodwater away from their home night and day.

Looking over her rear garden fence at a lake of floodwater coming towards her home, Geraldine fought back tears.

“The water has risen approximately six inches since 9pm last night, and it’s still rising, so it’s a cause of great concern for us,” she said.

The mother of four said they have had enough.

“We cannot live like this anymore,” she said.

“It’s not good enough, we are putting up with this and living with this threat every year. This is not an acceptable way to live, we can’t cope with this physically or mentally anymore.”

The Quinlivan home in Springfield, Clonlara, Co Clare, where floodwaters have threatened homes. Joe and Geraldine Quinlivan pose for photograph outside their sandbagged home in Springfield, Clonlara, Co Clare.
The Quinlivan home in Springfield, Clonlara, Co Clare, where floodwaters have threatened homes. Joe and Geraldine Quinlivan pose for photograph outside their sandbagged home in Springfield, Clonlara, Co Clare.

Springfield is located between the Parteen Weir and Limerick. The Parteen Weir sluice gates are operated by the ESB, which in the event of increased rainfall and large volumes flowing from Athlone, must discharge flows, which in turn flood communities in the lower Shannon basin.

Plans by Clare County Council to construct a nearby embankment and pumping station have been put on hold.

John Leahy, senior engineer with the council, said an increase in rainfall is forecast for the area overnight which would likely result in floodwaters rising.

“We’ve had crews here all week making preparations”, he said. “There are some houses that have been cut off and some of those residents have been put up in local hotels,” said Mr Leahy.

Speaking on RTÉ, Kevin ‘Boxer’ Moran, minister of state for the Office of Public Works and flood relief, warned that the Shannon’s levels could exceed the 10-year flood mark tomorrow.

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