As floods cause havoc in the Shannon region, Fionnán Sheahan meets with some of those most affected in Gort, Co. Galway.
She still gets emotional when she sees flooding. Kathleen O'Donnell's eyes well up in her bar, Johnny Walsh's, in The Square in Gort, Co Galway.
You can replace anything, but the trauma of it, you don't ever get over
The family home they lived in back in 2009 in Beagh outside the town is gone now. It had to be demolished after a fateful night when the water rose up to the top of the doors. The O'Donnells were evacuated by helicopter as the house couldn't even be reached by boat.
Her husband, Hughie O'Donnell was up to his neck in the flood. An award-winning photograph by Mark Condren of the Irish Independent captured the moment, yet some people don't believe the depth of the water. "There was every sort of a story bar the truth," Hughie says now.
They live over the bar now and there's no flooding there.
"I remember I sat in the helicopter that night and the two children in front of me and I had to hold it together. It wasn't easy," Kathleen says.
Their sons now have homes in the area where their house once stood, but they're on higher ground, so out of danger. Kathleen feels for the people now being flooded.
"I don't like to see anyone going through it when I look up at that TV. I went to mass the other day and I lit three candles for those people."
Divine intervention is also sought at Kiltartan Church, just outside Gort. The water is lapping up to the door after heavy rain and water coming from Slieve Aughty.
Inside, the pews have all been stacked up. The floor is made of swimming pool tiles as they've been hit before. Fr Tommy Marrinan says the pews can be put back in minutes for a mass, but structural damage is the worry.
"What happens is it comes up through the ground. I've a feeling in my heart it won't come in this time. There's a will there to bring it back every time."
Fr Marrinan and sacristan, Nora McLoughlin, reminisce about the heights of past floods.
"The most worrying thing is not the church. It's the people in the area. People are worried they'll be flooded during the night. This is happening too often. This problem should be part of a programme for government," the priest says.
There's something mythological about a turlough - a mysterious disappearing lake, found only in this country, mostly west of the Shannon.
Ironically, the name comes from the Irish "tuar", meaning dry, and "lach", meaning place. The "lach" is often mistaken for the word "loch" for lake. It means a lake that could appear anywhere. The turlough across from Vincent Hartigan's house in Fiddane has 'appeared' for four of the past seven years, blocking the road into his house for months on end.
There was one time here, I didn't hear a car for a whole three months
The water has been higher than it is now, but Vincent can only access his house by canoe or else by traipsing across a neighbour's muddy fields. Locals are good and check in on him too, but there's no knowing when the road - one of 20 rural roads around Gort cut off - will be back in action. There's always talk and meetings about flood relief plans, but the misery just goes on.
It's hard to know what to do
The road into Joe Rock's farm is completely submerged, only visible now by posts marking its route. He gets to his cattle cross-country through his neighbour's yard and an elevated lane.
But the flood has put 140 of his 150 acres under water. It looks picturesque passing by on the M18 Galway to Limerick motorway across from Gort, but this is not nearby Coole Lough, it's a functioning farm.
Before the floods cut him off completely, he sold off most of his cows this week, months before they would normally be going to market, so at a reduced price. The cows in calf were being moved outdoors to the remaining high ground. Joe's father, Martin, says you can see the water coming up gradually and time is limited.
After three generations of his family farming here, Joe is not sure of his next step: "It's hard to know what to do."