Thursday 8 December 2016

'You physically can't get in without a boat'

Published 15/12/2015 | 02:30

Patrick Mason stands outside his flooded home at Springfield, near Clonlara, Co Clare, with a picture of his sandbagged home taken during the 2009 floods. Photo: Colin O’Riordain
Patrick Mason stands outside his flooded home at Springfield, near Clonlara, Co Clare, with a picture of his sandbagged home taken during the 2009 floods. Photo: Colin O’Riordain

A man whose home is only accessible by boat because of the recent flooding said the River Shannon near his home is crying out to be dredged.

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Patrick Mason (57) was receiving support from the army and Civil Defence yesterday as he tried to keep his home above water.

His house is surrounded by sandbags with water up to four feet deep in places outside his garden in Springfield, Co Clare.

"People are coming past on a boat and looking in. You physically cannot get in here without a boat," said Mr Mason.

"My wife had to leave home because it is too agitating for her.

"She is gone out to her sister in Co Limerick," he added.

"They won't let us dredge the Shannon because they want to look after birds and bees.

"What good are the birds and bees to us if I cannot even have a turkey here for Christmas?" he asked.

He said that work needs to be carried out on the river Shannon immediately.

"We have to bear the brunt of people upstream because anything that goes into the Shannon up there affects us here and it stays here," said Mr Mason.

"The river from here to Limerick is overgrown with bushes, briars and brambles," he added.

Members of the Defence Forces were busy distributing more sandbags, drinking water and fuel to families in the area.

More than 2,500 tonnes of sandbags have been passed out in the area since Thursday.

However, Mr Mason is resigned to the fact that he is fighting a losing battle.

"Everything is running low. We have no running water because I have my own well underground. I have no running water and when this goes I have no idea as to when I will get water back," he said.

"In 10 years we will be in our sixties and vulnerable - what is to say that we will be able to get the same help then as we have now," he added.

"We have to think ahead. In two years this house will be paid off and it will be mine but it will be no good to me like this," said Mr Mason.

Clare County Council said there was a small drop in water levels on the River Shannon at Springfield on Sunday night. However, the ESB did not increase the discharge level at Parteen Weir during the day.

Several roads are still impassable in the county.

Irish Independent

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