Record levels of rainfall at Sliabh Bán, near Strokestown, on Wednesday of last week resulted in six homes being flooded. According to reports, unprecedented volumes of rain were experienced in the vicinity of the mountain between 3.30 pm and 7.30 pm that day.
Around 60 mm of rain fell in just one hour, almost double a 75-year Met Éireann historical record for the area of around 35 mm of rainfall in one hour, Mark Foley, the managing director of Coillte Land Solutions, said.
Water came rushing into half a dozen homes located either side of the mountain, particularly at Clooncagh, Curraghroe and Doughill.
A further ten homes could have been flooded if preventative action, such developing a barrier with sandbags, had not been taken.
Marie Farrell, from Clooncagh, was among the unfortunate people whose houses were flooded.
“I have never seen anything like it in my life,” she said. “The water came with such force. It came right in off the street, all of a sudden. The sitting room carpet is destroyed and the lino in the kitchen is too.”
Ms. Farrell said that she had been living in the house for 40 years, but had never experienced flooding before.
“It is the middle of June. What it is going to be like in winter time, considering our climate is getting wetter and wetter all the time,” she said.
Coillte are currently in the process of developing a wind farm on Sliabh Bán, but they insisted that there was no ‘causal link’ between the Sliabh Bán development and the flooding.
Ms. Farrell doesn’t agree, however.
“The water was so brown, so I just wonder, with what is happening up on the mountain, how much of an effect that had had on it,” she said.
“I would really question that. It has been a fear of mine for while around them that when you start moving and changing large amounts of soil and changing directions of water and that, what is the effect going to be?”