Parishes pull together in face of severe flooding

Priests have praised the volunteers working in flooded parishes

As MET Eireann continued to issue flood warnings this week, priests have praised the volunteers working in low-lying parishes supporting those affected by the flood waters.

Canon Donough O’Malley, Parish Priest of St Mary’s on Athlunkard St in Limerick told The Irish Catholic the “amazing thing is the attitude of the people who have been affected”. “There is an extraordinary sense of camaraderie and mutual help, and an outpouring of generosity from the community who have looked after the elderly and the vulnerable. People were rescued in boats and ponies and traps, and people waded through high water to help others,” he said.

“The main problem is that a large area of the parish is under water and a goodly number of people were evacuated from their homes but thank God no lives were lost.”

Canon O’Malley praised the work of the civil defence and paid particular tribute to the volunteers from neighbouring St Munchin’s parish who have provided meals for volunteers and those dislodged from their homes through their canteen and community centre.

Water damage

While flood waters surrounded St Mary’s Church the building escaped damage, and the surrounding parish building suffered minor water damage. Four church ceremonies were cancelled at the weekend due to the flooding but Canon O’Malley said it will be back to normal next weekend.

Morning and evening Masses in the Capuchin Holy Trinity church on Fr Mathew Quay in Cork had to be cancelled with the tide bringing flood waters to the steps of the church. Fr Dermot Lynch OFM Cap, Guardian of Holy Trinity told The Irish Catholic the city looked like Venice, but large numbers are still coming to the afternoon Mass wading through the waters in their wellies.

“Our main concern is the houses on the quay next to us. Only for the sand bags they would have gone but they have escaped,” he said. “People are pushing cars and helping one another. The city is really pulling together.”