Taoiseach says Cabinet will discuss extra funding for communities hit by Storm Demond

Counties Kerry, Cork, Clare,Mayo, Galway, Sligo, Donegal, Cavan and Monaghan bore the brunt; a body has been found in the UK

Newstalk, Kerry, Cork, Clare,Mayo, Galway, Sligo, Donegal, Cavan, Monaghan, Storm Desmond, weather, wind, rain, alert, Met Éireann, roads, AA Roadwatch, closure, ESB, electricity, power

Flooded roads in Appleby in Cumbria, as Storm Desmond hits the UK. Picture by: Owen Humphreys / PA Wire/Press Association Images

The Taoiseach says that the cabinet will discuss extra funding for communities hit by Storm Desmond.

Enda Kenny has also defended the government's history of spending on flood defences.

They say that they've spent €400m on flood defences since 1995.

However work on promised flood defences for Bandon and Crossmolina are not due to start until mid 2016 and 2017 respectively, despite years of floods in the West Cork town in particular.

The Taoiseach though says that the defences have worked in other parts of the country.

"We've got a very big job ahead of us over the next decade and government have put one billion (euro) into the capital programme to many of these.

"For now I would hope that some of the independent agencies would be able to to work with government in a humanitarian sense and in a business sense with what is a terrible loss to people three weeks before Christmas," Mr Kenny said.

Minister of State Simon Harris says he will brief Cabinet tomorrow on the extent of damage caused by Storm Desmond and seek emergency funding for those whose homes and businesses have been affected.

Speaking to Newstalk Lunchtime, he said it was impossible to put a figure on the amount needed at present, as floodwaters remain high in parts of the country, but that damage is certainly in the millions of euro.

Speaking about Bandon, which has seen a devastating repeat of the 2009 floods, Mr Harris claims progress in building flood defences has been slowed by a series of legal objections.

However, these have now been overcome, and the Office of Public Works (OPW) expects the project to go to tender in January, with shovels in the ground by the middle of 2016. 

Harris says the OPW has developed memoranda of understanding in towns where it has built flood relief schemes whereby details are provided to insurers, and the Government expects to see a rise in those able to purchase flood insurance.

He also highlighted the work of a inter-departmental group which is investigating whether current insurance policy is adequate, and will report back in Spring.

The clean-up is underway following Storm Desmond.

Parts of the South, West and North West were hit by heavy rain and gale force winds over the weekend, which led to widespread flooding and power cuts.

Counties Kerry, Cork, Clare,Mayo, Galway, Sligo, Donegal, Cavan and Monaghan bore the brunt, with the western seaboard worst hit - millions of euro worth of damage has been caused in Bandon, Kenmare,Tralee and Skibbereen.

Jacinta Warren owns the Warren Allen Collections in Bandon, and says people are trying to come to terms with the damage cause by this latest flood:

A number of families were evacuated from their homes in Craughwell in Co Galway and the River Deel burst its banks in Crossmolina in Co Mayo.

In Cork city there was heavy flooding on the Lee Rd at Mount Desert but it is passable with care.

In Co Clare, there is still flooding on the N85 Ennistymon/ Ennis Rd and The Scarriff/ Feakle Rd (R461) remains closed due to flooding.

In Mayo, the Westport/ Ballinrobe Rd (R330) is impassable at Digger Jays Pub and the railway bridge - due to flooding.

Newstalk Breakfast reporter Kieran Cuddihy is just outside Athlone, on the Co Roscommon side this morning: 

"I should be looking at field, but I am completely surrounded by water... I can see in front of me the tops of a line of wrapped bales... there must be four or five feet of water still in this field."

Listen to Kieran's report here:

Fig: AA Roadwatch

Irish Rail says the line is closed between Longford & Dromod due to flooding. Bus transfers are in operation between Carrick-on-Shannon & Longford. There will be delays of 40 mins to all Sligo/Dublin services as a result.

And while the worst of the storm has passed, Met Eireann is predicting unsettled weather for the rest of the week.

For more information on road closures in your area, check AA Roadwatch's website.

In the UK, authorities say a body has been found during the storm clean-up.