Flood disaster: Irish army to arrive today

Cars were swept into the river near Circular Road in Carndonagh on Tuesday evening. (Photo: Jimmy Stafford)
Cars were swept into the river near Circular Road in Carndonagh on Tuesday evening. (Photo: Jimmy Stafford)

The Irish army are due to arrive in Inishowen today to help deal with the aftermath of the worst storm to hit the north west in living memory.

A platoon of 30 specialist Defence forces will be tasked to the region to help rebuild some of the areas worst affected by the floods.

Government Minister Joe McHugh said the army were due to arrive in this morning.

The announcement came as the main Muff to Quigley’s Point road reopened on Thursday evening.

A large section of the road has been swept away in the storms but a single file traffic light system is now in operation on this section of the road.

Over 200 homes were damaged across Donegal in the floods, which also saw numerous roads become impassable as tarmac buckled, bridges were swept away and debris was washed down from hills and mountains. A number of roads remain closed, while inspections continue on secondary roads.

Speaking about the army deployment, Minister McHugh said he had been in discussions with Cabinet colleague Paul Kehoe, Minister for Defence, about assistance after the devastation caused by Tuesday night’s disaster.

The initial platoon will be deployed in Inishowen from 9am today (Friday).

“I want to thank my colleague the Minister for Defence Paul Kehoe who has been ready to assist wherever he can,” said Minister McHugh.

“I also want to thank the Defence Forces who once again remain ready to help citizens when they are in need.

“It became increasingly clear on Wednesday that as Donegal County Council tried to estimate the damage done that the picture was getting progressively worse and earlier today – having seen the devastation first hand - I asked for help from the Defence Forces and contacted Minister Kehoe.

“Many assessments of damage remain to be done. However it was also clear more help is needed on the ground.

“I’m conscious that local people in local communities are helping each other and I want to pay tribute to all those involved.

“I’ve been assured that more Defence Forces personnel will be deployed should they be needed.”