'I feel that my house and my life is in the ESB's hands' - Woman driven from home by flood misery
A MOTHER has described feeling "very frightened and sad" as flood waters from the River Shannon continue to rise, threatening the survival of her beloved home.
Geraldine Mason, from Clonlara in South East Clare, lives in a house that she and her husband built in 1995.
The Mason family home is located 1.5 miles from the River Shannon.
Geraldine had strong words to say about the ESB and their management of the flow of the River Shannon.
"The ESB let down (released) the water in 1995 and flooded us.
"I feel that my house and my life is in their hands at the moment.
"I feel they've lost control. With all the rain we had since early November they should have opened the gates sooner," she told RTE Radio One's Sean O'Rourke.
Geraldine initially tried to remain in her home in the aftermath of Storm Desmond, but as water levels rose she decided she would be better off elsewhere as she was likely to "panic."
"I moved out yesterday morning, the water had continued to rise steadily since Saturday night.
"I felt very frightened and sad.
"My husband had to resort to using the tractor the other night to collect me from work.
"I was up all of Tuesday night panicking. It was a relief to leave," she said.
Geraldine told how preparing dinner on Tuesday evening presented her with an unusual problem.
"After I'd boiled the spuds and the veg I realised I had no place to put the water.
"We've had no toilet for a week.
"I can't even wash myself with a basin of water as there's nowhere to put the water afterwards," she said.
Geraldine emphasised the gravity of the situation when she revealed how close she and her family came to losing their home.
"If the Civil Defence had arrived even half an hour later on Monday night, my house was gone.
"In 1995 our house was flooded and the water formed waves in our sitting room.
"In 2009 the water got into my house again so we built a bank all around the house and only for that the house would have been gone on Monday," she said.
Geraldine became very emotional as she described the lengths her husband is going to in order to protect their home.
"My husband had a transplant in 2005.
"In 2009 when we had to leave the house while it was flooded.
"At that time he was up and down to the house and also going to his mother's house and his brother's house which were also in danger.
"He ended up in hospital with a urinary tract infection.
"At the moment he won't leave the house and nobody seems to care what happens to us," she said.
Geraldine had praise for the national and local media who she feels are highlighting how bad the situation is around the country.
"I really feel the media are helping us," she said.