AS FAMILIES have been forced to evacuate their homes after severe flooding in Limerick city, Minister Kevin "Boxer" Moran has promised to launch an investigation into what caused the "disaster".
Residents in Coonagh woke up to see major flooding at their homes on Saturday morning, after embankments were breached on Friday evening following an evening of high tide.
Despite best efforts by residents, the situation worsened on Saturday night after the highest recorded tidal surge of the year hit Limerick city, leaving four homes badly-flooded and families devastated.
For the Maxwell family, it is the second time in eight years that they have forced to leave their home due to flooding.
And during an urgent visit to inspect the damage, Minister Moran promised mum Pauline Maxwell that his department will investigate the cause of the flooding.
He said that, in a bid to prevent further catastrophe, machinery have been deployed to repair the banks and all culverts have been sealed.
Ms Maxwell then put it to the Minister: "And when will we know when this is going to be stopped? Because we weren’t informed on Friday evening when they [Office of Public Works workers] walked away and left the River Shannon flowing in on top of us. No one knocked on my door to tell me this was happening."
The Minister replied: "I have asked my people to go off and investigate it, what went wrong, what happened."
Crew from Limerick City and County Council and the OPW have been reacting to the widespread flooding since Saturday morning, which has caused significant flooding damage to Na Piarsaigh GAA club grounds and numerous fields between Clonmacken and Coonagh.
When showing the Minister the flooding in Coonagh, Senator Kieran O'Donnell said: "As you can see, Minister, it’s a disaster."
The Limerick Leader contacted the OPW for a comment on Saturday.
For more on this story, pick up the Monday edition of the Limerick Leader.
Preview photograph by Brendan Gleeson