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Friday, 22nd October, 2010

We would like to congratulate Kieran Hickey, who lectures in geography at NUI Galway, on the launch last night of his latest publication entitled "Deluge: Weather disasters in Ireland, 2009-2010", and indeed thank him for our invite to attend. http://www.fourcourtspress.ie/product.php?intProductID=998. A well recommended read. A brief description can be found below.

During the twelve-month period from the summer of 2009 to the summer of 2010, Ireland experienced a remarkable sequence of weather disasters not seen for a generation or more. The wet summers of 2007/2008 were followed by a record-breaking wet summer in 2009. The following November was the wettest month in over 200 years in many parts of the country, and torrential rain led to severe flooding, especially in the west. Vast tracts of countryside and numerous villages and towns were inundated, including many new housing estates. In some places, the floods lasted until February 2010. This coincided with one of the most severe and persistent cold spells ever recorded in Ireland, with temperatures dropping below -15C in certain areas. There were thousands of falls and injuries, and many road-traffic accidents and further domestic flooding caused by burst pipes. Salt and grit ran out, energy-consumption soared and schools were shut down. When the snow and ice melted, it re-flooded areas that had only recently dried out from the previous deluges. This book explains these events, the rarity of the occurrences and their dramatic impacts. Consideration is also given to the role of planning process, the management of waterways and especially the major dams, the role of local authorities, the response of central government and the legal situation regarding clean-up procedures. The book also covers the meteorite fall of early February 2010, the Co. Clare earthquake of 6 May and the Icelandic volcano eruption that caused such extensive travel chaos across much of Europe throughout the spring and summer of 2010.

Kieran's main research interests are climate change, storms, hurricanes, weather disasters and the climate history of Ireland. He is the author of Five minutes to midnight? Ireland and climate change (2008). He is currently preparing a book on the natural and cultural history of wolves in Ireland (2011).