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‘It was scary, all you could do was watch it happening’

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The back yard, mill race and river became one mass of water.

The back yard, mill race and river became one mass of water.

The water rose around three feet inside the house. The flood water mark is clearly visible on this door.

The water rose around three feet inside the house. The flood water mark is clearly visible on this door.

The rush of water flooded through 18 rooms of the house.

The rush of water flooded through 18 rooms of the house.

Jonahan Bunker show how high the flood water reached in the cottages attached to Kilcarbry House.

Jonahan Bunker show how high the flood water reached in the cottages attached to Kilcarbry House.

Jonahan and Sonya Bunker, Kilcarbry House.

Jonahan and Sonya Bunker, Kilcarbry House.

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The back yard, mill race and river became one mass of water.

enniscorthyguardian

LIKE many business owners with premises in Enniscorthy town the owners of Kilcarbry House could do nothing on Christmas Day but look on in horror as their local river, the Boro, burst it banks and their grounds and house flooded with water.

When we visited to view the aftermath owners, Sonja Bunker and Johnny Martin are busying themselves with the task of cleaning up the debris which is a feat in itself as 18 rooms in the house and the three adjoining Airbnb cottages were flooded as the water flowed through the property.

Sonja has begun a GoFundMe campaign to help with the cost of the clean-up, under the title, ‘Help Sonja, Johnny and Nick rebuild their lives’ with a target goal figure of €8,000.

"It was terrible to look at because you could do was watch it happening,” said Sonja, as we walked through the rooms of the house where water marks around three feet high were clearly visible on the walls.

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Furniture was strewn all around the house and outside an iron box that was located close to the back door was carried about 100 metres away with the flood water, across the yard and into one of the many outlying buildings that form part of the property.

Ironically, the flooding actually began with run off coming down the road and not from the river itself.

"It was a neighbour came down and alerted the people who were staying in the cottages and us that the yard was flooding but it was coming down the road,” said Sonja.

"Nick moved the cars out of the yard and by the time he got back the river water was pouring and we had the doors sandbagged but there was one window he was able to get back into the house through,” she added.

Nick Minton, a sound technician who has worked with the likes of Alabama 3, also lives in Kilcarbry. Having been alerted to what was happening they could only look on from the upper level of the house as the yard became completely immersed in water. When it eventually subsided the full extent of the damage became visible.

Mud and silt covered the entire ground floor and furnishings, electrical appliances, music equipment and instruments, carpets, bedding and antique furniture was ruined. Some of the electrics in the house might also have to be redone. It’s a heart-breaking scenario for the owners who only moved into the building two years ago and worked hard in the interim to get it ready for guests. They also planned on turning it into an all-encompassing creative space and while those plans are still in place there is no denying they’ve suffered a major setback as a result of the flooding.

They are also very appreciative of the support and assistance they have received from neighbours; when we were there three men arrived to volunteer their help with the clean-up and Sonja said she received many requests from people asking how they can help.

"We really appreciate the help we’ve got, people have been brilliant,” said Sonja, who is a practitioner of Amatsu Japanese Osteopathy.

“ It’s one huge, mud-logged mess,” she added.


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