THE DAMAGE to the boat house of Limerick Boat Club will cost at least tens of thousands of euro, the president of the club has said, writes Anne Sheridan.
Speaking to the Limerick Leader, club president Dermot Moloney said it took all of 10 seconds for the roof of the boat house to be “violently ripped away into the Shannon River” during Storm Darwin, after it survived more than 130 years since the early foundations of the club.
“Thankfully nobody was in the club at the time and miraculously nobody was hurt in the incident. Most boats housed in the boat house survived with the exception of a Janousek light weight coxless 4 which was destroyed by one of the falling roof trusses,” he explained.
Emergency fire services quickly moved in to secure the site and the following day, club members were salvaging whatever equipment remained intact. “Offers of help were quick to arrive from the neighbouring clubs of St Michael’s, Shannon and Athlunkard and even commercial companies such as Euroclad Ireland with the offer of roofing materials,” he said.
While a full assessment of the damage caused by the 160km/hr winds has yet to be undertaken, he expects that at this early stage it will easily cost tens of thousands and the replacement of the Janousek 4 alone will be €20,000, aside from the building costs.
Founded in 1870, and the existing Belfast roof structure of the club’s boat house has been there since 1872. “From the club records we can see that this is not completely unprecedented as the roof of the newly completed boat house was blown off in a storm on November 6, 1872, taking the gable wall with it,” he added.
“Back then 100 members knuckled down and rebuilt it within one year. As in 1872, once the situation stabilizes we are confident that with the goodwill of people of Limerick will get behind us to help refurbish this club that has been in the centre of the city for 144 years.”