“I don’t see any light at the end of the tunnel this time. We did live in hope that the flood scheme would work but that’s gone for me, I’ve no hope now.”
These are the desperate words of Liz O’Brien, a resident of Clonmel, Co Tipperary, whose house has just flooded for the ninth time.
The floodwaters have been rising relentlessly through the floor of her home, destroying everything in its path.
“It just covers the floors, you can’t stop it,” she said, speaking on RTE Radio One’s Morning Ireland programme.
“The smell in the house is just absolutely… it would take your breath away, it would catch in your throat.”
Ms O’Brien said Tipperary County Council provided her with a pump to get the water out of the house, while her family rented a second one to help speed the process along.
“You could not turn off the pump, we’d be absolutely floating,” she said. “Those pumps are going constantly, 24/7.”
Ms O’Brien, who has a progressive disease which makes it hard to breathe, said the floods, which have become a regular occurrence, are having negative effects on her health.
“Our mouths now at the moment are sore, our eyes are sore, I have COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), my chest is not great and it’s just… I don’t see any light at the end of the tunnel,” she said.
“Last night is the first time myself and my husband sat down and we just said look, this is it, we can’t do it any more.”
Meanwhile, in Kerry a 12km section of the N72 has been closed due to excess surface water. A motion has been submitted to Kerry County Council calling for a national volunteer day of cleaning dykes and gullies.
The N72 between Beaufort and Killorglin which runs from Killarney along the Laune River has been closed to traffic since early yesterday morning.
Amid a growing chorus of calls for more maintenance, Independent councillor Dan McCarthy from Kenmare has put down a motion for the next meeting of Kerry County Council calling for a special day to call on volunteers “to free the dykes and take the water off the roads”
Independent councillor Danny Healy-Rae previously called on the council to buy special vehicles which can move through floods to assist homeowners and farmers.
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