DEERPARK, a home to 50 elderly residents, has become Bantry town’s first official weather station.
Josephine Walsh – who is an activity co-ordinator at Deerpark Nursing Home at The Rope Walk on the outskirts of Bantry – confirmed that Gerard Griffith of Met Éireann visited them, this week, and that their rainfall monitoring programme is now up and running.
Speaking on behalf of the residents – five of whom will be actively involved in taking the readings – Josephine said: ‘We are delighted to be one of the 500 rainfall observers nationwide.’
Gerard Griffith confirmed to the activity co-ordinator that people from ‘all walks of life’ take the rainfall readings at 9am, each and every day of the year.
According to Josephine, ‘the residents are over the moon to be involved because they all watch the news, and the weather, and now they feel they are a part of it, and making a contribution to society.
‘It is like the meteorologist, Evelyn Cusack, always says that the voluntary observers are the building blocks for all climatology and for forecasts.’
In the past, garda stations and hospitals used to take daily rainfall readings, but that is no longer the case, so Josephine – who previously graced our TV screens on foreign travel programmes with Francis Brennan – applied for, and was granted, approval for the weather station.
Josephine explained her reason for doing it, saying: ‘I thought it would be a good idea to have it included as an activity for the residents, because as well as having to check it manually every day, they have to write it up on a card, and submit the readings once a month to Met Éireann at RTÉ.’