Rising water claims Galway church
A church in rural Co Galway gave way to flooding after being surrounded by rising water levels since Christmas Eve.
St Attracta's Church in Kiltartan, near Gort, was forced to cancel Christmas Masses after constant heavy rain caused water levels to rise to its doors.
Conditions worsened yesterday afternoon, as water managed to seep into the church, just as the local community prepared itself for the arrival of Storm Frank.
Father Thomas Marrinan, parish priest in Kiltartan, said water entered the church at around 3pm yesterday.
"The water started to rise on Christmas Eve and at that time it was at the steps," he said. "Now it's much higher."
Fr Marrinan said water had been steadily rising around the church over the past few days, inundating its grounds and forcing parishioners to seek Christmas services elsewhere.
However, he stressed that the building had fared relatively well, with no major damage reported.
"The church is one thing. We have plenty of churches," he added. "It is people's land, farms and houses we are worried about."