independent

Sunday 20 April 2014

Locals flee as asbestos roof is torn off GAA stand

Parts of the roof at Nowlan Park, Kilkenny that blew down in high winds. Mark Condren

ELDERLY people living in the shadow of Kilkenny's Nowlan Park were moved out of their homes yesterday as environmental engineers assessed an old asbestos roof that was ripped off amid severe winds.

At the height of Wednesday's storm, large chunks of hazardous asbestos material scattered across the roads and gardens close to the famous stadium.

Two houses nearby had windows broken by flying pieces, while the roof of another house was damaged.

Insurers are evaluating the cost of storm damage to the home of Kilkenny hurling, as fears were also raised about the health risks of the asbestos.

O'Loughlin Road, where Nowlan Park is situated, was closed to traffic.

Relatives of older residents helped them move temporarily away from the area while the clean-up operation got under way.

Kitty Guider (93) was lucky to escape injury when a large piece of asbestos blew through her bedroom window, shattered both panes of the double-glazed glass and came through a venetian blind.

Her daughter, Breda, said that if her elderly mother had been near the window at the time, she could have easily been killed.

Environmental engineers say that it will take several days to clear up the dangerous material.

Chairman of Kilkenny GAA, Ned Quinn, said they had always intended to take the asbestos roof off the old stand but added that they "couldn't possibly have foreseen this happening".

Irish Independent

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