Units and volunteers on flood-relief duty in South and West


Irish Red Cross units were called into action in the South and West of Ireland over the weekend providing food, water and transport; and making house-to-house checks. 

Irish Red Cross units were called into action in the South and West of Ireland over the weekend providing food, water and transport; and making house-to-house checks.

Irish Red Cross responds in Co Kerry
Irish Red Cross responds in Co Kerry

Irish Red Cross volunteers and ambulances, off-road ambulances and minibuses were deployed in liaison with the HSE and local authorities in counties Kerry, Cork, Galway and Mayo. Units in counties Limerick and Clare were also on stand-by.

Regional Directors of Units liaised with the HSE regional major emergency management officers after a Status Red Weather alert was issued on Saturday. Irish Red Cross Secretary General Liam O'Dwyer was in contact with Defence Minister Simon Coveney and his officials concerning the response.

A nursing home with 47 residents in Foxford, Co Mayo was evacuated because of flooding. Ten Irish Red Cross vehicles and nearly volunteers were deployed to move residents to a local interim reception centre while beds were also made available in Castlebar General Hospital. Psychosocial support was also provided as needed.

The HSE requested late last night for Irish Red Cross support in transporting the residents to the temporary locations. Senior Red Cross officer Aiden Lonergan from Galway and Mayo Area Director of Units Ken Spencer coordinated the deployment which ended at 3.30 am.

Elsewhere in Co Mayo, the Irish Red Cross FESS welfare vehicle was deployed in Crossmolina Mayo at the request of the local fire authority and was used for welfare breaks by State responders. An Irish Red Cross ambulance and support vehicle were deployed.

A support centre was opened by volunteers in the parish hall in Bandon, Co Cork, one of the towns worst affected by Storm Desmond. Emergency supplies were available and bottled water was distributed at several points in the town. The Secretary General and National Officers authorised a capped amount from national humanitarian funds to assist.

Irish Red Cross Vehicles were also used and a family whose house had flooded was transported from Bandon to another residence in the county outside Bandon.

bandon SM post

Four road ambulances, two four-wheel drive ambulances and a minibus with Irish Red Cross crews from both Kerry and Cork Areas assisted the State services in flood support activities in Killarney and Tralee.

In Tralee IRC uniformed volunteers in partnership with Civil Defence assisted in house-to-house enquires in areas affected or threatened by flooding to check on vulnerable householders such as the elderly or disabled persons to check if any essential supplies, or transport support were needed. Kerry and Cork crews were stood down in the early hours of Sunday morning and returned to their respective bases around 4 am.

In Galway, bottled water was distributed to householders affected by weather-related issues with water supply in the Ballinasloe area. Distribution also took place in Eyrecourt and Kiltormer. Galway and Portumna Units along with Health & Social Care volunteers were involved.

galway sm post

The Coastguard requested that Irish Red Cross off-road vehicles in Co Clare be placed on standby for West Clare and off-road vehicles in counties Limerick and Tipperary were placed on standby for possible in the South West but these resources were not needed and were stood down around 10 pm on Saturday night.

National Director of Units Tony Lawlor said Irish Red Cross IRC personnel remain available if requested by the principal response agencies to assist in the clean-up and recovery phase in accordance with the relevant standard operating procedure on flood response.

"Special thanks are extended both to Ted Noonan Regional Director of Units and Aiden Longman National Director Health & Social Care and to all IRC responders in the affected counties. The acting Chairman, National Officers and the Secretary General have asked me to convey sincere thanks to volunteers and officers who responded over the past two days," said Mr Lawlor.

Irish Red Cross responds in Co Mayo