Hero shopkeeper braves 'ice-rink' roads
A SHOPKEEPER is being hailed a local hero for lending a helping hand as plummeting temperatures turned roads into little more than ice rinks.
Paddy McCann runs his business in the Fairymount area, between Castlerea and Ballaghaderreen, Co Roscommon, where locals were unable to make their way to his shop.
He was taking orders over the phone from his regular customers at his grocery store and post office and then getting into his own van and making the unscheduled deliveries.
But even he was driving at little more than walking pace as icy conditions restricted him to an ultra-careful 5mph.
Fairymount is situated about 500 feet above sea level, making it one of the most inaccessible locations in the country during the intensely cold spell.
"I'm the only shop in this locality and people rely on it for the essentials.
"I've been getting a lot of calls from customers who badly need things like bread and milk and I've started delivering to them because they are either unable or afraid to leave their homes," said Paddy.
Since December 21, he reckons that six to seven inches of snow has fallen in the Fairymount area. Because it is not on a main road, no gritting has taken place there, making the roads highly dangerous.
"Every day I see parts of the country on television with snow and ice, but we are worse than anything I've seen," he added.