Nothing fishy about Kinsale's unwavering community spirit

October 24th, 2017 11:55 AM

By Kieran O'Mahony

Martin Shanahan and the staff from Fishy Fishy in Kinsale handing out free fish and chips on the Tuesday as the town had no power until later in the day. (Photo: John Allen)

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DRAMATIC pictures of a galvanised roof landing on Pearse Street in Kinsale summed up the powerful force of Storm Ophelia. 

The roof was part of a Council-owned storage shed behind Cronin’s Commercial Hall and it was blown nearly 200 yards across the main junction and onto Pearse Street.

Five to six parked cars were damaged when it landed, but  luckily no one was injured.

One of the beams from the roof ended up landing on the roof of Mylie Murphy’s shop which led to more slates flying onto the street and warnings being issued to avoid the centre of the town due to falling debris.

It took crews from the County Council and Cork South Civil Defence to tackle the blown roof and when the winds died down that evening, they drove on top of it to pin it down.

With no power or water, businesses remained closed on Monday and for the most part of Tuesday until Irish Water were able to restore water. 

And at the time of going to press, ESB Network crews had two thirds of the town reconnected. However, some mobile phone networks were still not working, with many locals taking to Facebook to make contact with people, while others used the good old-fashioned telephone box to make calls.

Those who had power in the town were happy to help those who didn’t, and several people took to social media to thank businesses who came to their aid by providing food or water. Martin Shanahan and his team at Fishy Fish served free fish and chips on Tuesday, while The Gourmet Pantry offered free soup to anyone who needed it. Meanwhile, in Dunderrow, Eli Lilly opened up their canteen to allow the local community to get water and enjoy light refreshments.

Other services affected included the Kinsale Day Centre for older people, which did not open on Tuesday due to lack of water and power, but it re-opened on Wednesday.

Dunderrow was still without power on Wednesday but had its water back. 

Nearby villages like Ballinspittle, Belgooly and Riverstick were also without power and water, and a water tank was deployed by Irish Water as a temporary measure. 

Bandon-based Councillor Gillian Coughlan requested Irish Water to supply water tankers for areas supplied by the Innishannon and Kinsale water mains such as Ballinhassig, Crossbarry, Crosshaven and also parts of south Carrigaline.

‘The power is down in Innishannon and even when it is restored, it will take some time for the water to be useable for drinking and domestic use, but Irish Water said they are processing my request,’ said Cllr Coughlan.

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