News Winter Storms

Thursday 22 February 2018

Philip (15) collapses after working all week to save home

Bridget with her sons Philip (15), Luke (16) and Jake (15)
Bridget with her sons Philip (15), Luke (16) and Jake (15)
Bridget Kinsella’s home in Clonlara

David Raleigh

A mother of three broke down as she was forced to leave her flooded home to accompany one of her sons in an ambulance after he collapsed from exhaustion after working all week to protect their home.

Widow Bridget Kinsella fought back tears as she demanded to know how Clare County Council signed off on planning permission for their house in Springfield, Clonlara, Co Clare, close to where floodwaters reached six feet deep.

"Some eejit in an office okayed this on a flood plain," she cried out as she walked to the waiting ambulance.

"One of the boys brought home plans from school that were from medieval times, and this was a flood plain then, so I don't know how someone could have signed off on this in an office in Clare County Council."

An ambulance was called to the house after Philip Kinsella (15) became weak.

However, paramedics had to wait for members of the Irish Navy, who were helping out in the area, to walk him to the ambulance, as it could not drive on the road, which had been under two feet of water.

An emotional Bridget said: "He's been working like a man, he's only 15."

The strain was visible on the face of his brother Jake (15) who, along with his twin brother Luke, was "up until 2 o'clock in the morning" laying sandbags.

The twins, along with their older brother - who sits his Leaving Certificate exams next summer - have spent all week at home preparing a cordon of sand instead of studying in school for their Junior Certificate exams.

"It's one thing after another for us," said Bridget, whose late husband died by suicide three years ago.

"You really appreciate neighbours at a time like this.

"My neighbours stayed up all night, and my neighbours from where I lived before came out here last night and stayed pumping (water) all night," Bridget said.

Neighbours and friends have rallied around the family of four after the floods crept up to their front door over the weekend.

Local Fianna Fáil TD, Timmy Dooley said: "You can look back and try to pass judgement, but the fact of the matter is the houses have been granted permission."

Joe Cooney, Fine Gael councillor, said: "I don't know why planning was given or how planing was given. It was before my time in the council."

Irish Independent

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