Wednesday 24 May 2017

Pensioner's life work at garden centre 'destroyed'

Norma Blake and daughters Kayleigh (14) and Shauna (7) at the Annacotty nursery belonging to her father John McDonagh, which has been devastated by flooding. Photo: Arthur Carron
Norma Blake and daughters Kayleigh (14) and Shauna (7) at the Annacotty nursery belonging to her father John McDonagh, which has been devastated by flooding. Photo: Arthur Carron
Wayne O'Connor

Wayne O'Connor

A pensioner who has given his life to running a family garden centre was left devastated after watching it fill with flood waters.

Grandfather John McDonagh (70) has seen his garden centre at Lisnagry, Co Limerick, become submerged in water over the past few days. He has been in business for more than 30 years.

His daughter Norma Blake said he has been left devastated by flooding from the Mullkear River.

"He is a proud man. He would work seven days a week only for the fact we don't let him. This is his work and it is just destroyed," she said.

"These things can be prevented.

"Someone needs to be responsible. Someone should be answerable to prevent this happening again," she added.

"He is 70 years old. This is what he has given his life to and he is devastated."

Now the family fear their homes could be in danger of flooding too.

Fighting

"Our neighbours have been hit and are out of their houses," said Ms Blake.

"There are four people who are here fighting for their homes and we just don't know what the week is going to bring.

"Most of the garden centre is under water and that is gone. As for our homes now - we just don't know."

Swells in the nearby Mullkear river brought on by poor weather and water being released by the ESB at Parteen Weir have locals in Limerick very concerned.

Ms Blake said that something must be done to prevent future flooding.

She said the family had been reassured that flooding would not be an issue in the future after flooding devastated her father's business six years ago.

"There are thousands of euros worth of stock ruined," she continued.

"He lost thousands in 2009 too and he built it all back up only for this to happen again," she said.

"Last time we were told that it would not happen again for another 100 years but it has just six years later," she added.

"At this stage we don't know what is coming every morning."

Irish Independent

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