Thursday 19 July 2018

Volunteers are praised for their hard work during snow storm

Sara Gahan

Local councillors have praised the outstanding voluntary work carried out by everyone in Gorey and the surrounding areas after unprecedented snow caused major disruption on Friday.

Staff at Gorey Municipal District have been working hard around the clock since the county woke up to a blanket of snow after a storm hit Wexford Thursday night.

'The outstanding effort from volunteers in rural areas means that most roads are now passable,' said District Manager Amanda Byrne. 'The majority of local roads in the Gorey district are passable for single lane traffic.'

Ms Byrne said Gorey Main Street and footpaths have finally been cleared and gritted and staff were concentrating on clearing housing estate entrances yesterday (Monday).

The first priority went to all national routes, and after that the aim in the Gorey district was to keep a route open from each village to access the main road.

'All staff were available to us, except for the ones who were snowed in,' added Ms Byrne. 'The possibility of flooding is being closely monitored as the thaw begins.'

Local councillor Malcolm Byrne spent yesterday (Monday) trying to get tankers into town. 'Twenty are now arriving,' said Cllr Byrne.

The aftermath of the snow storm has resulted in some considerable amount of damage to roofs, including O'Connor Nurseries in Barnlands and a number of agricultural sheds on farms.

'We have a few issues also in some businesses with leaks from snow accumulating on the roof,' said Ms Byrne.

Councillor Fionntán Ó Suilleabháin said Wexford County Council staff did a great job and trojan work at all hours with limited resources.

'Despite devastating losses with possibly two dozen sheds destroyed in the Gorey area alone,' said Cllr Ó Suilleabháin. 'Farmers were absolutely heroic saving the day, as well as many others who used their own machinery and also the many volunteers in housing estates.

'Great community spirit all around, its certainly true that all heroes don't wear capes.'

The outstanding community spirit is something that sticks out for councillor Mary Farrell.

'This snow has had a huge impact and credit needs to be given to the council, emergency services and the farming community,' said Cllr Farrell. 'I can't get over the community spirit that I have seen the last few days.

'People got together and gave each other a helping hand.'

Cathaoirleach of Gorey Municipal District Cllr Joe Sullivan said there was absolutely great work after being done around Gorey.

'The major roads and majority of secondary roads have been cleared,' said Cllr Sullivan. 'Credit has to go to District Engineer Neville Shaw for his round the clock attention.

'One can not forget the voluntary efforts put in by the community who have been working hard morning to help with the situation.'

The Gorey Fire Service were on standby throughout the weekend for the ambulance, and thankfully they received very little emergencies.

'We were lucky enough that everyone listened to the warnings and stayed in their homes,' said Tony Kennedy from Gorey Fire Service.

Tony said they also have been ferrying staff from St Aidan's Day Care Centre staff in and out to the residential care homes in town.

Gorey Guardian