THE Manager of Carlingford Horse Riding School has spoken about the “utter devastation” caused to the business by recent floods.
Charlene Meegan, manager at Carlingford Horse Riding School, told the Dundalk Leader that the business was flooded Halloween night.
“We were alerted to the flooding on Tuesday morning at 6am. There was waist-high water, approximately 4ft of water,” she said.
“We have 13 horses and seven of those were in the water. We eventually got them out of the water on to high ground.
“Our hay and everything were destroyed. We had to get emergency hay and get it in over ditches.”
She added: “We couldn’t get close enough to physically examine the horses but we did feed them through ditches.
“The horses were oblivious to what was going on. It wasn’t until Monday, 6 November, that we could open the gate to physically examine the horses.
“We have arranged for the horses to go to different fields in the area with the help of local landowners.”
According to Charlene, her saddlery shop which was in a portacabin, was destroyed by the unprecedented flooding.
“The tack room, which had the horse-riding school equipment, was also ruined. Each horse only has a blanket on their back,” she said.
“Luckily, the horses didn’t panic and run off. The yard has been drained but the fields are still currently under water.
“The horses can’t graze on the school’s fields and we will have to buy in more hay. It will be two to three weeks before we get the stables dried out.”
She added: “We had enough hay and straw in to do us until March 2024 but that’s been destroyed now.
“We have to move to emergency feed, which is not easily got. It’s difficult to source. I was disappointed by the response from Louth County Council in relation to the flooding.
“Local farmers started to drain the area themselves and had volunteers to help manage the traffic but we were told by the Council to stop.
“We were told there wasn’t enough manpower to close off the road. We were then told we could meet with the Council but no-one showed up. The Four Seasons Hotel got its own drainage so that helped. The yard is drying but the fields are still under water.”