Wednesday 21 March 2018

Croke Park fears as heavy flooding hits a second time

Major flooding at Jones Road outside Croke Park in Dublin
Major flooding at Jones Road outside Croke Park in Dublin
A Jones Road resident is helped away from the flooding
Emergency workers clearing the landslide on the Ring of Kerry

Breda Heffernan, Fiach Kelly and Owen O'Shea

FEARS have been raised about continuing flooding around Croke Park as the championship season hots up.

Jones Road was swamped again by more than a foot of flood water – the second time in the past few days.

Dublin City Council said 30mm of rain fell in just 75 minutes yesterday, causing the drainage system in the area to overflow.

"When you get that monster rain, it will overwhelm any drainage system," said a council spokeswoman.

Engineers will meet over the coming days to examine what can be done to improve the local drainage infrastructure as Croke Park heads into its busiest time of the year.

Fortunately, no GAA matches were held at the stadium yesterday.

Meanwhile, after another day of weather misery around the country, Met Eireann has warned that more thunderstorms and flash flooding are set to come in the days ahead.


There was flash flooding on the M50 at Junction 11 Tallaght, in Santry and on the Swords Road, while in Temple Bar, Smock Alley Theatre was forced to evacuate the building as a safety precaution after torrential rain caused minor flooding in a backstage area.


A major landslide caused the closure of the Ring of Kerry road when a large section of the steep mountainside collapsed between Glenbeigh and Kells at around 5pm.

Torrential rain is believed to have contributed to the displacement of an estimated 30 lorry-loads of earth, causing traffic chaos on the busy tourist route. The road at an area known as Mountain Stage – a popular viewing point along the road between Killorglin and Caherciveen – was closed for several hours as council staff cleared the road of debris.


Penrose Quay in Cork city centre was closed for a time due to flooding, which also affected Lower Glanmire Road and other streets in the area.


Letterkenny General Hospital remained in "major incident mode" last night following flooding on Friday.

Health Minister James Reilly visited the A&E at Letterkenny General Hospital yesterday to inspect the scale of the flood damage – just months after he had officially opened the new €20m unit.

The unit remains closed with emergency patients being diverted to Sligo Regional Hospital and Altnagelvin Hospital in Co Derry. The entire hospital is closed to visitors as many departments were damaged and soiled, and the hospital said it wanted to avoid the risk of contamination.

Patients who were due to attend the Radiology Department this week are having their appointments rescheduled while all elective in-patient and day-case surgery planned for today and tomorrow is being postponed.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny said the damage to Letterkenny Hospital was worse than was first realised, and meant it would be shut down for some time.

"I think you're talking about a pretty serious emergency situation here. I spoke to the Minister for Health this evening, who visited the hospital.

"This is very substantial, records lost, MRI, diagnostics, laboratory walls to be de-plastered and de-contaminated. This is far more serious than was first thought."

Met Eireann forecaster Harm Luijks said the humid air over Ireland, combined with the temperatures of over 20C and low pressure, meant more thundery downpours would affect almost any part of the country today and tomorrow.

There will be more prolonged periods of rain on Wednesday and Thursday before it becomes dryer on Friday. It is unclear what the weather has in store for the bank holiday weekend.

Irish Independent

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