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In brief: Storms 'slow drivers'

ROAD safety chief Gay Byrne believes the spate of bad weather has put "manners" on dangerous drivers.

Road deaths have declined slightly so far this year after a significant rise in 2013 – but Mr Byrne warned that it is too early to predict an overall drop in road deaths this year. He said: "All in all the weather that we've had during January militated in our support in so far as there's nothing like bad weather, and flooding, and falling trees, and high wind and hurricanes, and seas crashing over barriers, to put manners on people, and they tend to behave themselves rather better and they tend to slow down."

RAIN CAUSES SINKHOLE

TORRENTIAL rainfall is being blamed for a large sinkhole which opened up in Cork city.

The sinkhole started opening at 4pm yesterday in front of stunned commuters and residents on the busy Boreenmanna Road on Cork's southside. It quickly extended to 2 metres in width, with water gushing from the chasm. It is believed it opened as a consequence of torrential rainfall and underground water pressure, which may have caused a water main to shift and shatter.

OLD CLOCK DAMAGED

A GUST blew at 100kph in the face of an iconic clock which has stood atop a town-centre tower for 136 years.

The giant clock face above Gallogley Jewellery and watchmakers in Ballyshannon, Co Donegal, was hanging precariously last night. Ironically, the clock, which usually gave the wrong time, was spot on time when it was damaged and continued giving the correct time afterwards.

SVP TO AID VICTIMS

THE Society of St Vincent de Paul (SVP) will be financially assisting victims of the recent floods and storms that hit the country.

SVP president Geoff Meagher said it has been inundated with requests for financial assistance in the aftermath of the recent floods and storms. It has been allocated €500,000 from a government fund and it plans to use the money to help families in distress with energy, food, and laundry costs, and the replacement of furniture and household items. Anyone who wishes to seek help is being advised that it will be on a confidential basis, and contact details are on www.svp.ie.

Irish Independent