Athlone horse trainer’s stables hit for third time in 11 years as flooding impacts several areas across country


Horse trainer Tom Cleary, who is based just outside Athlone, has told of efforts to keep stables clear of flood water and to ensure the horses are safe.

This is the third time in 11 years that they have been faced with such a dilemma he told RTÉ radio’s Morning Ireland.

“There’s not a lot we can do but move the animals to safety. There are some good people out there offering to take them,” he said.

Most of the stables can be saved, but we need pumps which we have ordered, but we are still waiting for them from the council.

“It’s a bit worse this morning, there’s two inches more (of water) and four stables are now affected.”

Mr Cleary said two local politicians – Robert Troy and Peter Burke had been in repeated contact with him and the council who had promised that pumps would be provided, but have yet to arrive.

“Nobody appeared, but I understand they must be very busy.”

Kevin ‘Boxer’ Moran stands in flood water in Athlone. Picture: PA

Outgoing Minister of State for the Office of Public Works and Flood Relief Kevin Boxer Moran, who lives in Athlone, said that land in the area has been saturated since last October but has been flooded over the last week with heavy rain.

Units from the local fire brigade had been on duty all night attempting to keep water pumped away from housing areas, however, water levels did rise two inches over night said Mr Moran.

“Conditions are a small bit better today with showers rather than rainfall forecast, but more rain is due on Saturday.

There is talk of bringing in the army to help.

“When the media frenzy dies down people will still be facing this for the next six to eight weeks.”

Meanwhile, in Clare, Geraldine Mason was relieved that efforts by the fire brigade who had kept pumps going all night, had kept her home dry.

After the last floods she had taken up all wooden floors and put in tiles. Her husband and son had stayed in the house over night while she had stayed in Annacotty, she admitted she shed tears of relief this morning that her home was not flooded as she has no home insurance.

Other residents spoke about their difficulties due to the floods including Seamus Reddin, a student who expressed concern for older residents in the area, but said there was a great community spirit.

Luke Kinsella told of how ‘portaloos’ have been delivered to every home because of possible problems with toilets and flood water.

His brother Philip told of how the last time there was flooding in 2016 he had an asthma attack and had to wade through flood water to the ambulance which could not get through the water.

Tom Lane, speaking for the Clare branch of the IFA said that there is a need for a single authority to deal with the issue and for proper funding to carry out the necessary works.

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