Saturday 25 November 2017

Asbestos and damage: Engineers examine historic GAA ground storm

Nicola Anderson

Nicola Anderson

Engineers are surveying damage at Nowlan Park - the home of Kilkenny hurling - after yesterday's severe storm which is said to be the worst in over 50 years.

O'Loughlin road where the stadium is situated and surrounding areas are strewn with chunks of hazardous asbestos that blew off the roof of an old stand.

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

Many elderly people in the area have now been taken out of their homes by relatives while the clean up operation gets underway.

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.

Downstairs in the kitchen with her daughter at the time, Kitty was nevertheless very shaken by the incident.

Aftermath: Damage at Nowlan Park, Kilkenny after severe storm
Aftermath: Damage at Nowlan Park, Kilkenny after severe storm

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

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

Chairman of Kilkenny GAA, Ned Quinn said they never thought Kilkenny would have taken the brunt of the storm as it had been predicted to hit the South East of the country.

"We're worried about the next storm forecast on Friday but we don't think it could be as bad as this," he said.

Kilkenny hurlers will take on Tipperary at Nowlan Park on Sunday week but Mr Quinn says the match will not be affected by the ruined stand as large crowds are not predicted.

Meanwhile the clean-up operation is continuing on back roads throughout Kilkenny, with many still blocked by fallen trees.

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