'My kitchen was coming in on top of me' - Donegal woman on her lucky escape from mudslide

'My kitchen was coming in on top of me' - Donegal woman on her lucky escape from mudslide

A Donegal woman has spoken of her relief after managing to flee from her home just seconds before it was engulfed by a mudslide, writes Stephen Maguire.

Bernie Kearney was sitting in her bungalow having her dinner just after 8.30pm on Tuesday.

She heard a loud bang and watched as her entire kitchen was thrown across the room after her car was pushed through the side of her house by a landslide.

Bernie ran to the front door of her home in Urris but could not get out as it was locked and her keys were in the rubble behind her.

The scene at the house in Urris which was damaged by the mudslide. Picture: North West Newspix
The scene at the house in Urris which was damaged by the mudslide. Picture: North West Newspix

She managed to flee into another room before jumping through a window onto her front lawn.

Dressed in just a T-shirt and trousers, Bernie was forced to stand in torrential rain as she desperately phoned neighbours and friends.

“I was hysterical. I just didn’t know what to do. One minute I was sitting having my dinner and the next I heard a huge bang and my kitchen was coming in on top of me. I eventually got through to them [neighbours and friends] and they arrived but it seemed like a lifetime that I was standing on the lawn in the torrential rain,” she said.

Bernie said just minutes before the mudslide happened, she was at the back of her home feeding the dog.

Pictures of the devastation outside Bernie’s home also show how a massive boulder made its way down the Urris Hills and landed at the back of her house.

The mud-covered house and yard at Urris in North Donegal where Bernie Kearney had a lucky escape. Picture: North West Newspix
The mud-covered house and yard at Urris in North Donegal where Bernie Kearney had a lucky escape. Picture: North West Newspix

“I’m very shook up thinking of what happened but I might not have been here at all. I have to be grateful for that. If I was outside I would have been caught up in all that mud and it happened so quickly that I wouldn’t have had a chance,” she said.

Bernie, who is originally from Gleneely, has lived in Urris for the past 30 years but admits that her home is destroyed. Bernie said she will now move in with family or friends.

This article first appeared on the Irish Examiner.


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