With Storm Frank set to bring heavy rain to the northwest, west and southwest over the next 24 hours, the OPW has said the River Shannon remains in a "severe flooding situation" along its banks and it is likely that ongoing flood defence efforts (for example pumping) will have to continue for some time.

While water levels in the upper Shannon (Carrick-on-Shannon) have fallen by up to 9cm in the last 48 hours, the gauges have risen in the mid and lower catchment area. The mid catchment (Athlone) area has seen water levels rise by approximately 6cm in the last 48 hours and it is currently 2cm above its peak of 16 December, when the last major flooding alert was issued.

The lower catchment to Lough Derg has risen by approximately 3cm and to Limerick city by approximately 1cm in the past 48 hours.

Farmers, businesses and home owners still reeling from the effects of Storm Desmond in early December are now facing into the "inevitable" prospect of more flooding. Environment Minister Alan Kelly has announced funding of €8m for local authorities to facilitate and support the on-going clean-up works being undertaken at local level in the aftermath of Storm Desmond.

According to the ESB, the flow of water through the Parteen Weir remained at 405 (cubic metres per second) on Monday 28 December and this is due to be reviewed today (Tuesday).

However, the ESB has warned that the flow of water is likely to increase in the coming days, given the high levels of forecasted rainfall in the Shannon catchment.

There is still flooding on minor roads, and this will be compounded by the heavy rainfall forecast for the next two days. Motorists are advised to heed the local authority warnings in this regard.

For advice on how to operate machinery in heavy flooding, click here.

People have been tweeting about the severe weather caused by the onset of Storm Frank over the bank holiday weekend.

And here's that same walk from a different angle

The Parteen Weir, River Shannon

Someone braving the storm with their pet goat

And here is someone who is making the most of the whole situation.

Been real irish about things

Posted by Oisin Harding on Monday, 28 December 2015

Bog must be flooded to save communities

Meanwhile Denis Naughten TD has called on the National Emergency Co-ordination group to direct Bord Na Mona to let its bogs in the midlands flood to ease the pressure of mounting flood waters.

“Over the next three days we are expected to see a further 60mm of rainfall much of which will eventually end up in the River Shannon, with potentially devastating consequences on homes and whole communities,” he said. “At the same time Bord Na Mona continues to keep its pumps running to prevent commercial bog land from flooding; this now needs to be urgently reviewed”.

A spokesman for Bord na Mona said the body "firstly, does not own all the bogs in Ireland. Secondly," he said, "the level of flooding across the country requires a long-term engineered solution. The flooding of the bogs will have a miniscule effect, if any. There are also communities living on the bogs. Why should we flood them for the sake of other communities?"