Parts of Co Clare are on high flood alert because of increasing water levels in the river Shannon.

The areas concerned are O'Briensbridge, Clonlara, Westbury and Shannon Banks.

The ESB is releasing 10% more water than usual at the Parteen Weir, to reduce the pressure at the Ardnacrusha Power Station.

The move means that areas downstream from Parteen, including Limerick city, can expect higher water levels.

Water levels in Ballinasloe have dropped, but it has not been enough to have any significant affect on flooded areas in the town.

The Derrymullen area, which was the residential area worst affected, is still severely flooded, and houses that were evacuated remain empty.

In Westmeath, St Paul's National School on the west side of Athlone town has closed as a result of flooding.

Offaly County Council has said that it is monitoring the flood situation in the Banagher and Ferbane areas.

In Cork, the County Council is again requesting people throughout the county to conserve water, while boiled water notices are still in place in some areas.

Receding waters in Cork city centre has seen most roads reopened, but motorists are advised to drive with care.

The Accident and Emergency Department at Mercy University Hospital in Cork has reopened.

The unit was closed on Friday due to flooding after part of the quay wall at Grenville Place collapsed.

In Cork City, water for drinking and sanitation is being provided at more than twenty locations.

DART services between Dún Laoghaire and Bray were suspended from 7pm to allow for remedial works to a retaining wall adjacent to the line south of Dalkey.

Bus Éireann have advised that services from Galway northwards are operating, but with some diversions, as Tuam Road at Claregalway is closed.

Services from Galway southwards are operating but with some delays. All other Galway services are operating normally.

The Defence Forces has confirmed that have 227 soldiers and 26 vehicles have been deployed in Cork, Ennis, Galway and Ballinasloe to provide emergency assistance to the local authorities.

Cowen responds to flooding crisis

Taoiseach Brian Cowen has said it is not always possible to avoid the flooding that happened.Brian Cowen

Speaking on RTÉ's Six-One News, Mr Cowen praised the quality of the response in affected communities.

He also said flood relief works had saved towns, such as Clonmel, from worse damage and that the Office of Public Works is prioritising flood relief schemes.

Earlier, the Taoiseach has said that the Government will assist victims of the ongoing flooding crisis. He was speaking during a visit to Ballinasloe to inspect the damage from the flooding.

Mr Cowen said a clear assessment of the overall damage has yet to completed, but in cases of extreme hardship and where humanitarian aid was required, 'the Government will respond'.

When asked if there would be money for those who have suffered from the floods when in Clonmel he said the Cabinet will be meeting tomorrow to decide on the Government response.

Irish MEPs have called on the EU to make money available to Ireland to help deal with the aftermath of recent floods.

The Irish Insurance Federation has said that the devastation caused by the flooding will have a broader impact.

IIF spokesman Michael Horan said that while it will take weeks to assess the cost of the damage, it will have an impact on all premiums next year.

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