Margaret and Maurice Murray’s home on Mill Rd in Midleton, Co Cork, was destroyed when it was engulfed by up to 2m of water after the Owenacurra river burst its banks last week.
The couple, their daughters Megan and Ann, Ann’s boyfriend, Stephen, and the family’s two pet dogs, had to be rescued by firefighters from their low-lying home, which is just 500m from the river. Two family cars were also destroyed.
They did not have flood insurance, given the proximity of their home to the river.
Margaret’s sister Connie, who is based in San Francisco, launched a GoFundMe campaign to help them. By last night, it had raised over €10,000 of its €15,000 target, with most of the donations coming from the US.
“Mags already faces medical bills on a regular basis to deal with her deteriorating health, and Maurice, a plasterer, is currently unable to get to work, since he has no vehicle,” Connie said.
“Mags and Maurice are two of the kindest and most generous people I know. They have a long road ahead and my hope is that this fund will alleviate much of the stress and hardship they are facing.”
The money, which is being donated to a US bank account, will be transferred to the couple in due course.
Meanwhile, Midleton Tidy Towns Committee is still using social media to coordinate a massive relief effort. Its members set up the Midleton Flood Response Coordination page on Facebook to match offers of help to those most in need.
It has posted information on sandbag availability, on the distribution of free bottled water by the Red Cross, and of offers from volunteers to help clean homes.
The more unusual offers of help have ranged from Creedon’s Doggie Day Care, which will care for pets while flooded homes are repaired, to offers of free counselling by Tom Evans Counselling and Psychotherapy.
It also issued an appeal, yesterday, for rental accommodation to help people who could be out of their homes for up to eight months, as repairs get underway.