Parts of west Limerick, especially Foynes, experienced the full impact of the weather last Friday morning.

Homes and businesses had to be evacuated after waters penetrated a breach in the pier wall at high tide at 7.20am.

Limerick County Council Fire and Rescue Service were quickly on the scene and, together with the Gardai, HSE and members of the public, helped usher people in affected homes to safety.

Among those evacuated was the elderly mother of former T.D. Michael Finucane. A mattress was used to help move Josie Finucane, 97, to safety. “As a native of Foynes, I can never remember anything like this,” Mr. Finucane told the Weekly Observer. “I want to compliment the fire service and members of the community, if you want to see a community in action responding to a crisis, this was it.”

Some of the town’s busi-nesses were badly flooded including the local Shannon House Bar and Restaurant. “We were flooded up to two feet, it came in from the back in a matter of minutes,” explained Denis O’ Connor who runs Shannon House and who employs up to 12 staff full time and part-time. “We had considerable damage to our carpets, flooring, fridges, bar furniture and kitchen equipment. My main concern was for the staff and to maintain their employment. I would like to call on Limerick County Council to allow all the businesses affected by flood damage a reduction on our rates.”

One of the town’s landmark buildings, the Shannon Flying Boat Museum, escaped flood damage, as did the local post office, church and Health Centre. “It was devastating for all those affected and it was certainly the worst ever seen in Foynes,” explained Margaret O’Shaughnessy, director of the Flying Boat Museum. “It now needs expert advice to find the right solution to provide flood defences to ensure that it will not recur.”

Meanwhile in Askeaton eight homes on the quay were affected, while in Adare the N21 through the town was closed for a time on Friday morning due to flooding.

See photos on page 9.