Friday 6 December 2019

Work during storm praised

Clearing a path through the Father Harry Sinnott roundabout at Bishopswater, Wexford. Picture by Declan Roche.
Clearing a path through the Father Harry Sinnott roundabout at Bishopswater, Wexford. Picture by Declan Roche.

Council staff were praised for their efforts during Storm Emma and the Beast From The East, when they worked 14 hour shifts clearing the county's roads and organising teams of staff throughout the county.

Chairman Cllr John Hegarty said County Wexford was the worst hit county in Ireland during the storms.

'It was the worst weather conditions to hit us in 35 years and we were the worst hit area,' Cllr Hegarty said.

'We need to recognise the massive effort and contribution that our indoor and outdoor staff made. They worked hours and hours on end.'

Cllr Hegarty said there was also a huge effort made by the management team who coordinated services and by other council staff as well.

'So often council workers are viewed in less than a complimentary light but when the worst conditions to hit the county in decades happened our staff rose to the occasion.'

The Civil Defence, army personnel, fire fighters and ambulance staff were all praised. 'There was a whole sense of the community which some place may have felt was lost. It was reinvigorated and the response from local people helped as people assisted their neighbours.'

The chairman said the council didn't get everything right, adding that there are lessons which need to be learned for the next weather event. 'We got a lot of things right. The fear was that there would be a loss of life and that didn't happen. The response shows what can be achieved when we pull together. I want to say a sincere thank you to all the directors and everyone who was involved in it. We will do something to recognise the efforts.'

Cllr Hegarty's speech was greeted with a round of applause in the chamber.

CEO Tom Enright said he wanted to recognise the huge effort put in by council staff, some of who worked for 14 hours during the storm.

Mr Enright said volunteers also made a massive contribution.

'We are very fortunate that there was no serious injury. The air sea resue helicopter was out three times during the storm when people needed medical attention.

'The army was out on a number of calls assisting the ambulance service. I saw first hand the fantastic work done by the community.

'I want to thank everyone on a job well done and particularly to thank our own staff who stepped up when they were needed to ensure that the county was back on its feet as soon as possible.'

Wexford People

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