AN ELDERLY widow has been trapped in her home for over a month as three families are cut off by flooding.
Brett Mulqueen (88) has been marooned in her home without access to the outside world since Christmas.
"The last time she was out was to go to Mass on Christmas Day when I got her out on a tractor. She has not been out since," said her son Gerard, who lives with her in rural Co Clare.
The only access road to four homes at Dooras, O'Callaghan Mills, is via a cul-de-sac, which is bordered on both sides by a lake and is now submerged in several feet of water.
"The only way that I can get to the house now is by wading on foot through a very wet bog," said Mr Mulqueen.
"At the start I was able to get the quad bike through the bog, but that has now failed – it is too wet. I have to wade through the water-logged bog on foot with food for her," he added.
His neighbour, Rory Moloney, said that his wife Martina and their two young sons were locked in for nearly three weeks. They moved to Broadford to live with her sister when they managed to get out a couple of weeks ago during a brief drop in the level of the flooding.
Another family has been forced to abandon their home and have moved to live at a house they have rented at Ennis, 15 miles away.
Cllr Joe Cooney (FG) described the situation as "very serious" and said that there was full sympathy with the families who have to cope with an intolerable situation.
All farming families, they are satisfied that current supplies of hay and silage are adequate for the livestock on their farms, but they have run out of meal for feeding to the livestock and there is no way of getting it into the farm.
Mr Cooney said: "The council engineers have looked at the situation and agree that something has to be done."