George, Eoghan and a very shy Lorenzo!





Last week the country braced itself for Storm Lorenzo. George Lee put on his most serious face (and that’s very serious) and used his most desperate and most solemn tone of voice to warn us of the impending disaster. RTE reporters were sent to all points on the West Coast to record the terrible tempest and Eoghan Murphy and his officials were holed up in the bunker in Dublin, ready for the worst. But it just didn’t happen – and, not surprisingly, criticism came quickly. 

  I have sympathy for the authorities. The ‘weather people’ were genuinely afraid that there was going to be a significant storm. If they didn’t warn us and the storm caused havoc, then there would have been an even bigger outcry. But a lot of the media coverage of the storm that never quite materialised was way over the top. The danger now is that when the next storm is coming, people may not heed the warnings.

  I see where businesses in places like Galway and Limerick have been critical of the persistent warnings about Lorenzo, as they led to a huge fall-off in the numbers of people who came into the city centres. There was a major financial loss to businesses as a result of the publicity. But it’s very hard to win in these situations.

  With the storm passing without any major damage being done, some of the commentary on social media was hilarious. ‘Light Breeze Lorenzo’ was one of the more printable verdicts that I saw on Twitter.

  As far as I can see, the biggest threat from the change in our climate to people living locally is flooding. For instance, over the past six weeks or so the amount of rain that has fallen is way above average. The land is drenched already – and we are hardly into October. There will be lots more rain before this year is over, which is a major worry.

  Despite the virtual non-appearance of Lorenzo last week, the fact remains that we are facing the threat of more intense storms and heavier rain in the future. Such weather will have a fundamental effect on our land, our homes and on our roads too. There is not much point depending on the insurance companies for solace – make one flooding claim and that’s likely to be the end of your cover into the future.

  Minister Eoghan Murphy was in his element last Wednesday and Thursday. Politicians love to be on our screens day and night – even, I suspect, if warning of impending disaster – especially when they have nothing to do with it.

  I suspect that the majority of people heeded the warnings that they were given and stayed in last Thursday night. It meant that there were no injuries or mishaps at all. But it also meant that the country almost came to a standstill for a night.

  Lorenzo may have passed with a whimper but I suspect that it won’t be long before another more serious weather event hits us. That is the reality.

Note: I am running a fundraiser (an ‘80s and ‘90s video disco) in aid of Roscommon Palliative Care in Nancy’s Nightclub, Castle Street, Roscommon on Friday night, the 25th of October. It’s a tenner on the door. Please support this very worthy cause if you can.