Low-cost programme a remedy to cemetery flooding problems

Flooding in the Castleisland area has always been a bit of a flash-in-the-pan - sometimes we're deluged but usually we escape when other areas are under water.

Seen from a national scale, Castleisland is doing grand in that we don't get the worst of anything here. However, we did get a fright on Friday morning, January 24 as a vista we have only ever seen on television did a live performance on our roads and streets here.

There were very few reports of the floodwaters getting into houses or business premises here but we got an inkling of how helpless we are when nature decides to teach us a lesson.

Bad and all as that is, it pales when you hear people talking about the state of the cemetery where the remains of their loved ones rest in peace. "That's the last word,' and 'This should be made a priority," are some of the comments made by locals who have family and loved ones lying there.

In that too, Castleisland is lucky that it's not going to take millions of euro to sort our problems. But for the flooding in Kilbanivane we would, almost all, have forgotten the events of January 24.

The flooding of the cemetery there is not only a recent occurrence. It has happened before in equally distressing circumstances for the families of people who are buried there. The fact that Minister Brian Hayes, the OPW and Kerry County Council representatives agree that a 'Small Funds' programme will sort out the problems here surely indicates that the issues are solvable and in the immediate future at that.

Because of the distressing nature of the problem it's been on most of the national, daily papers. The issue made the 6 O'Clock News on RTÉ 1 and later on TG4 on Wednesday evening after it was first of all highlighted in The Kerryman. Then a ministerial visit, obviously influenced by representations from local Cllr. Bobby O'Connell - and a bit of tight marking by Cllr. Danny Healy-Rae and we hope we'll soon see the last of a situation that is too distressing for many people to even talk about.