Following a relatively dry week, weather conditions broke on Saturday (11th August) and the deluge continued on Sunday last (12th August). As a result, the Mulkear River and its tributaries, including the Bilboa, Dead and Newport Rivers, have again witnessed summer flood events. The outlook for the week is very unsettled with heavy and persistent rain forecasted from midweek onwards.
Flood conditions on the Mulkear River, August 2012 (Image: Ruairí Ó Conchúir)
The poor weather conditions have impacted very negatively on farming in the Mulkear catchment. Farmers have faced great difficulties in getting silage cut and in bringing in bales from the land in certain parts of the catchment. Many farmers have been forced feed indoors yet again in the month on August following a very poor June and July. This has increased costs considerably, and coupled with severe difficulties in saving silage, has made it an extremely difficult year for farming throughout the Mulkear catchment.
Dark clouds gather over the Dead River, August 2012 (Image: Ruairí Ó Conchúir)
This week’s floods are the first significant floods for August 2012 but follow near constant flood conditions throughout much of June 2012 and significant parts of July 2012. The flood conditions have not only been confined to the Lower Mulkear but many rivers in the upper catchment have also experienced significant flood events.
Bubbling-up over Annacotty weir, August 2012 (Image: Ruairí Ó Conchúir)
The floods have severely curtailed MulkearLIFE work this summer. Instream works have been suspended on the Mulkear and works on the Clare Annagh and Newport Rivers have not yet commenced almost six weeks behind schedule. The potential for additional disruption for the remainder of August is a real cause of concern to the Project and the OPW and Limerick County Council.
The chocolate brown waters of the Mulkear River enter the majestic Shannon’s clear waters, 13 August 2012 (Image: Ruairí Ó Conchúir)