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President Mary McAleese visited Claregalway village this morning to meet victims of the recent floods. The President started a two day tour yesterday in Cork to visit flood disaster zones all over Ireland.

Mary McAleese spoke at Claregalway Community Centre earlier today. Parts of her speech are below. Later today she will speak in Gort, Ballinasloe and Ennis in Co. Clare, which were all effected by the recent floods.

She said many communities had displayed their finest hour in terms of how they rallied together.

“Nature gave her worst and human nature, in return, gave its very best.”

“It is on the goodness of human nature that we rely to get us through these awful times.”

“It is human nature that will get us through; and the message here in Claregalway, as well as other parts of Ireland, is that the statutory agencies, the voluntary agencies, the individuals on the streets as well as the communities, they came together in this spontaneous display of ‘meitheal’.”

“The volunteers and emergency workers knew there was only one way to get through this and that was by pulling together in a partnership and community spirit.”

A Claregalway Flood Relief fund has been set up, and donations can be made through the Post Office in Claregalway. This will provide some assistance to those whos homes were damaged in the floods.

Galway Mayor Tom McHugh commented that homeowners effected by the floods will need this relief money not just to tide them over Christmas, but on a continuing basis to make necessary repairs to their homes. He understood that not all houses damaged were insured and the homeowners will need to acquire money from somewhere to repair them.