Sunday 26 October 2014

Elderly couple dig moat around house to save it from the floods

Published 19/02/2014 | 02:30

The council built this scaffolding foot bridge for Mickey Morgan from Skehanagh, South Galway
Sean and Mary Collins, from Skehanagh, South Galway, have been stranded in their homes.  Picture: Hany Marzouk
Sean and Mary Collins, from Skehanagh, South Galway, have been stranded in their homes. Picture: Hany Marzouk

AN ELDERLY couple who have been stranded in their rural home for over a week were forced to built a trench around their house to save it from flooding.

Sean Collins (74) and his 72-year-old wife Mary Teresa have been unable to leave their home by road in Skehanagh, Peterswell, Co Galway, since February 8.

Their only option has been to travel over two fields and wade through several feet of water to make their way to the nearest village.

"We're fairly surrounded by water here and have been since last Saturday week. It's very difficult to get out. If we want to go to the shops we have to cross the fields and then wade through two or three foot of water with the groceries.

"Our son has been helping to bring us what we need," explained Mr Collins.

The elderly couple have only managed to stop their home from flooding after taking steps to dig a makeshift moat around the house. Their son Kevin Collins and a local contractor dug a 3ft trench around the house.

"We were badly flooded back in 2009 and we were out of our home for six months then. It was devastating," he added.

Kevin Collins praised his parents' neighbours for their help.

"We got the permission of seven neighbours to dig the trench. It's about 30ft wide and 3ft deep and it's completely filled with water now," he said.

"If it wasn't for all the work and goodwill of our neighbours we couldn't have saved the house," he added.

Meanwhile the council – and some builders – had to come to the rescue of farmer Mickey Morgan. Although his house and farm sheds were safe from the floodwater, they were surrounded on all sides by water.

Around 25 metres of scaffolding has been erected to let Mickey and his family walk from the family home in Skehanagh, south Galway, out on to the main road.

Irish Independent

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