Air Corps on standby to help communities affected by flooding

One TD is calling for red tape to be cut to help those affected faster

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Soldiers from Limerick and Clare work to protect homes | Image via @jonathanhealy

The Air Corps remains on standby to help communities affected by on-going flooding.

Around 100 households are at risk of flooding in Athlone, while a handful of properties in Limerick and Clare near the Shannon may also flood.

The National Emergency Coordination Group has been meeting again today - and says public health and safety are of paramount concern.

Forecaster with Met Eireann Evelyn Cusack says further heavy rainfall is expected this weekend.

John Barry from the Deparment of the Environment chaired the meeting.

He says people living in Athlone and parts of Limerick and Clare near the Shannon are most at risk of flooding.

And in the Dáil, the Government has been urged to suspend the usual rules and allow residents to undertake their own flood defence work.

Independent TD Michael Fitzmaurice says residents were always able to deal with nature - but are now unable to do so because of EU bureaucracy.

A swollen River Shannon flows under Athlone Towns historic bridge, sporting Christmas lights with a tree and reindeer in the background, with the Luan Art Gallery and St. Peter and Pauls Church on the right, while its residents wait to see what damage may await their homes during the night. Photo: 

Work goes on late into the night in shoring up the defences of the homes of residents in the Strand, in Athlone Town, against the rising flood waters of the River Shannon. Photo:

Flood waters continue to rise in the town Athlone, by the river Shannon. Picture by: Brian Lawless / PA Wire/Press Association Images

Council workers put sandbags along the quayside in Athlone, by the river Shannon as flood waters continue to rise. Picture by: Brian Lawless / PA Wire/Press Association Images