Pics: Flooding has turned one Mayo farm into the ‘local lake’

A Mayo farm family’s home and farmland has now become ‘the local lake‘, after flooding has devastated the area.

Stephen Connolly, whose parents’ land is now under water thanks to flooding, said that the home first flooded in 2006.

Connolly said that at the time there were promises given by government that there was funding in place to provide drainage to resolve the flooding situation.

“After lots of talking and promises, in my opinion nothing happened. In 2009 the house flooded again.

“There was water under the floor of the house but it didn’t fully flood. Again, there were lots of promises and talks, but nothing materialised,” he said.

Now, Stephen has said that the family is now in a worse position than they’ve ever been before.

Donal kelly 1
Image: Donal Kelly

Connolly’s father Jimmy has lived there for his entire life and the house is over 100 years old. He has said that the situation in the house has become perilous for his parents and his brother Gary.

“Frankly, we don’t know what we can do now.

“My parents are living in the house as they don’t want to leave it to fend for itself. Also, the farm animals cannot fend for themselves and need help,” he said.

These animals have been removed from this shed since this photo was taken. Image: Donal Kelly
These animals have been removed from this shed since this photo was taken. Image: Donal Kelly

Connolly said that he was at the house last night trying to divert and release water, but to no avail.

“Last week my mum arrived back from the local town with some shopping, dressed in oilers and wellingtons so that she could come through what was her home and is now the local lake.

“My dad had to come out to the collect her in a tractor so that she could be taxied into her drenched home.”

Image: Donal Kelly
Image: Donal Kelly

The tractor engine has now given up and the Connollys have had to resort to boats and canoes to manoeuvre through the flooding.

My dad has a farm that is now flooded, and the farm animals there are now also living in terrible conditions due to the flooding.

“There was funding in place to do local drainage and other measures that could prevent this from happening, but work was prevented for many reasons, one reason was it (we were told) could affect the local natural habitat (worms, frogs and some birds).

Image: Donal Kelly
Image: Donal Kelly

“It really has become very apparent to me that the persons over the natural habitat have no regard for humans’ livelihoods.

“Other reasons were also given, but the lack of action and no follow through is not good enough.”

Connolly said that he knows the world is changing and climate is more extreme than it ever was, but things can be done to help if people stop passing the parcel and start making some real, effective decisions.

“My parents and I are tired of people talking and making promises, without any real substance or follow through.”

Image: Donal Kelly
Image: Donal Kelly

Connolly has said that decisions need to be made on the flooding and actions started.

“Humans need to be given priority over some local worms, birds and frogs or other external events that can be used as an excuse to stop action.

“Ireland is a great country and worth fighting for, but sometimes the lack of decision making and forthright action from people involved is frustrating,” he said.

Image: Donal Kelly
Image: Donal Kelly