Special Recognition Award for
DONEGAL County Council
was honoured on Saturday night last with a Special
Recognition Award for their response to the major
flood event in Inishowen.
The flooding took place on Tuesday 22nd August 2017
when an unprecedented rainfall event occured which
caused severe flooding and major disruption to local
communities. The rainfall levels subsequently
recorded at Malin Head and Carndonagh were
exceptional, even exceeding the RED level warning
alert on Met Éireann’s weather severity
classification. The event has been characterised as
a one in a 100-year flood event.
The Award was presented at the 2019 Community and
Council Awards in Croke Park which are presented by
IPB and LAMA, the Local Authority Members
Association and hosted by RTÉs sports commentator
“We are delighted to receive this special
recognition award which acknowledges the outstanding
response of our own staff, management and of course
elected members to the devastating floods in
Inishowen in August 2017” said John McLaughlin,
Director of Service in Donegal County Council and
Manager of Inishowen Municipal District.
He added "on receiving this award, it is important
to acknowledge the tremendous co-operation and
assistance we received from various organisations
and Government Departments. The generosity shown by,
not only the community of Inishowen, but also by
people from across the country and from our diaspora
especially in the US, was outstanding."
Members of Inishowen Municipal
District with Donegal County Council staff who
received the Special Recognition Award. Photo
includes standing Seamus Hopkins, Cllr. Martin
McDermott, Cllr. Albert Doherty, Cllr. Jack Murray,
Cllr. Paul Canning, Frank Sweeney, Cllr. Mickey
Doherty, Cllr. Nicholas Crossan, Cllr. Martin Farren,
John McLaughlin, Cllr. Rena Donaghey and Cllr.
Donegal County Council
led the multi-agency flood emergency response to
ensure that the affected communities were able to
return to their daily lives as quickly as possible.
Over 200 hundred homes were flooded and their
contents destroyed. These homes were in multiple
locations across Inishowen but principally in and
around Burnfoot, Buncrana and Carndonagh areas.
Around fifty families were displaced long-term from
their homes, rendering them homeless in the
immediate aftermath of the incident. A dedicated
helpline was set up and managed by the Council’s
Housing Service based in Carndonagh Public Services
Centre in order to deal with families requiring
assistance including emergency accommodation.
An outreach centre was also opened in Buncrana GAA
Club where people could access the services from a
range of agencies including the Department of Social
Protection, the Irish Red Cross, the Samaritans and
a professional counselling service.
The damage to the road network was extensive, with
many bridges and culverts damaged or destroyed. Five
main regional roads had to be closed due to bridge
collapses. Landslides, surface damage and road edge
collapse also contributed to the overwhelming
destruction. It was estimated that over 600 roads were
either damaged or destroyed in the flood.
John McLaughlin believes that being recognised with
a Community and Council Award is a great honour
saying "this award acknowledges the work done by our
team in Donegal County Council and recognises their
dedication and tireless work during what was a very
difficult time for all involved. I believe that the
response by Donegal County Council to this incident,
and the follow up actions in the aftermath, was an
example of public service of the highest order."