Tuesday 20 March 2018

Life in a ruined home - no heat, no washing machine, no showers, no toilet and no sleep

Boyle, Co Roscommon

Vincent and Ann Brady outside their home as sand bags are placed around their house. Photo: Brian Farrell
Vincent and Ann Brady outside their home as sand bags are placed around their house. Photo: Brian Farrell

Marese McDonagh

Vincent and Ann Brady have not slept for days. The turlough opposite their home has swollen and they are engaged in a round-the-clock battle with rising flood waters to save their family home, which has now become an island.

Members of Lough Ree Sub Aqua Club ferried sand bags and bales of briquettes to the house at Lisserdrea, less than two miles from Boyle, Co Roscommon, over the weekend.

Large wrapped silage bales floated by their dingy, while water climbed over Vincent's tractor and farm machinery.

"We are now on an island surrounded by water," explained Ann, who has had to cope with having no heat, no washing machine, no showers and no functioning toilets for days as water flooded the pump house and the septic tank.

As the road turned into a river and county council trucks laden with sand bags could not access the property, Ann dialled 999 in a desperate attempt to save her home. Castlerea-based Garda Sergeant Frank Egan was just finishing up duty when the call came in.

"One of the lads is in the Lough Ree Sub Aqua Club, so we called them in," explained Sgt Egan, who headed straight to the Brady's farm to help with the pumping operation.

The cattle have long since been moved to higher ground and the water is now up to the top of the windows in the original Brady home which was built in the early 1800s.

Family, friends and neighbours are providing 24-hour cover on the pumps in a bid to keep the water out of the 'new' house, which was built in the 1930s.

"One of the three pumps seized during the night," explained Ann yesterday. "I suppose it just burned out. We moved the Jeep and the cars to high ground but there is six feet of water in the sheds.

"Our turf is destroyed, power washers are ruined and my garden is under water."

The couple's daughter, Tara (22), had to move out to make sure she gets to her job at Kilronan Castle Hotel.

"I put on my waders and climb up through the fields when I go for a shower in a friend's house," said Ann, close to tears. "I don't know when I (last) slept but I don't want to sleep. When I close my eyes all I can see is water."

Irish Independent

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