Frontline staff prevented another flooding on the scale of last year’s disaster after they rushed for sandbags to seal up Letterkenny General Hospital, Donegal Daily can reveal.
A hospital insider has revealed how hospital management were reluctant to call the fire service during last night’s heavy downpours.
However, in an amazing act of passion, one worker grabbed a phone from a member of management and demanded the fire service come to the hospital.
Other members of frontline staff rushed to gather sandbags and placed them at the doors of the Accident and Emergency.
The acts of defiance almost certainly saved the hospital from suffering anther heavy flood disaster which occurred exactly one year and one week ago.
The hospital insider was on duty as torrential downpours sent thousands of gallons of water gushing into the car park of the hospital in front of the A&E Department.
He said “There was a lot of uncertainly about whether to call the fire services or not. In the end this guy grabbed the phone and demanded they come up.
“It was amazing to watch it. A decision needed to be made and it was. God knows what might have happened if it was left any longer.
“A number of staff also rushed to get sandbags and sealed up the two entrances – the public entrance and the ambulance entrance.
“Some water did get in and there was a mess for a while but it took about three hours to clean it up.
“It could have been a repeat of last year but for some quick-thinking and getting the sandbags up against the doors.”
A number of public representatives including Deputies Padraig MacLochlainn, Charlie McConalogue and Cllr Ciaran Brogan visited the hospital last night.
Despite initially diverting patients to Sligo and Derry, the hospital re-opened to the public last night.
There have been calls for Health Minister Leo Varadkar to visit the hospital today amidst other calls for a full public inquiry into the planning process for the hospital.