Republic of Ireland news

Driver who drove to safety from Storm Eleanor says waves were 'a walk in the park'

Selina Callaghan, from Donegal, at the car park on Salthill Promenade in Galway which she was parked in when Storm Eleanor hit, leaving her to drive to safety through waves crashing onto the road. Picture by Brian Lawless/PA
By Michael McHugh and David Young, Press Association

A SOCIAL worker who drove to safety as waves broke around her during Storm Eleanor said it was "like a walk in the park".

Social media footage showed Selina Callaghan motoring along the surging waterline towards safety and a car park exit.

The 28-year-old from Donegal said she was "cool, calm and collected".

She had been celebrating the new year with friends in Galway on the west coast and was watching the growing swell from the promenade at Salthill on Tuesday night.

She said: "Yesterday was like a walk in the park, fire is much more harmful than water, you just need to respect the water and it will respect you."

Pictures from Galway city centre on Tuesday evening showed cars ploughing through high water and business owners struggling to protect their properties.

Ms Callaghan, from Kerrykeel, near Letterkenny, only returned to Ireland 10 weeks ago after spending five years in Australia.

She and a couple of friends were in Galway city for the new year and were watching the storm nearby.

They moved their cars to the back of the car park as the water came closer.

"It happened that quick, by the time we parked there literally the waves were coming, the water was getting deeper and deeper, nearly coming into our cars," she said.

"The panic stations were on for my friend. I was like, 'just relax'."

She said she was not afraid and "by the grace of God I get through everything".

"I was at the beach because the beach is my favourite place in the whole world," she said.

"I love the beach because it makes me calm, I feel close to God there.

"I know that he will look after me, I don't need to fear.

"I would not put myself in a risky situation, I am literally heading out of a risky situation, I am not putting myself at any form of risk."

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