Buy me out, pleads weary mother as house flooded a third time
A weary widow and mother, whose home has been swamped by floods three times in the past decade, has pleaded with authorities: "Buy me out".
Bridget Kinsella, "cried for two days solid" when the floodwater surrounded her home in Springfield, Clonlara, Co Clare, on December 9.
Her husband Mike, who took his own life three years ago, was the one she turned to whenever the floodwaters came.
Now her three teenage sons - Luke (16), and 15-year old twins Jake and Philip - "are the men of the house", working night and day to keep the water out.
Looking out her front gate at a vast swell of floodwater spilling into her front drive, Ms Kinsella said: "I just don't know where it is going to end."
Residents have barricaded their homes with sandbags as they brace themselves for more flooding over the next 24-48 hours.
The floodwaters briefly receded last week. However a further deluge was expected to spill in to the area today after the ESB increased the water discharge rate on the River Shannon through the Parteen Weir, which is located upstream from the Kinsella's home.
Other residents, whose homes that have been completely flooded, have already left for emergency accommodation, while some, like the Kinsella family, are hoping they can still save their houses despite the ongoing threat of further flooding.
Ms Kinsella said: "I just wish the council, or whoever is over all of this, would just buy me out. This is our third flood since before Christmas, and there just seems to be no end to the water that is coming."
The area flooded in 1995 and again in 2009.
"There isn't any dry weather on the horizon, and I just don't know what we are going to do."
She said: "I go to bed at night and I'm afraid to sleep in case it comes in the door."
"If it comes inside, we will be homeless," she added.
Local Fianna Fáil TD Timmy Dooley, who visited the area yesterday evening, admitted: "There is no end in sight."
"We are looking at bad weather and heavy swells further back up the River Shannon, so these people's lives are going to be further impacted for up to two months."
He added: "In my view there has to be a scheme put in place that gives people an option to leave."
"A couple of years ago this was identified as a hundred-year event, well, it's very hard to keep coming back to these people and saying this only happens once every hundred years.
"It has happened three or four times now within a ten-year period," he said.