Stores will be forced to close without better protection, warn traders
A flood-hit trader has warned that many business owners are so traumatised by repeated floods they are seriously thinking about closing their doors for good.
Jim Deane, of Shortens Boutique in Bandon, Co Cork, admitted that, in his opinion, the town was very lucky this time that the floods did not prove even more destructive.
Parts of the town were left under 45cm (18 inches) of flood water last week - compared with 150cm (5ft) in 2009. "We were lucky this time. We managed to save all the stock. We had three pumps getting out the water. Without the pumps the shop would have been absolutely destroyed," Mr Deane said.
"We have no insurance - absolutely nothing."
It is estimated 90pc of Bandon traders have no flood cover.
"I think it is going to come to a stage where some people will seriously think about opening no more," he added.
"It's devastating. We have the shop for 23 years. From what I can see in Bandon, fish are more important than people. I don't think any of the (State) agencies are doing anything for us.
"If you're trying to make a few bob over Christmas, the most important business time of the year, how are you supposed to cope with this? It was all talk back in 2009 about flood relief but what has happened?"
Fellow trader Margaret Daly warned "there will be nothing but grass growing up on Bandon's main street" unless the town is protected.