Republic of Ireland news

Donegal flood families fear homes will be vandalised

Security was provided for the homes in Burnfoot which were damaged during the flooding last August. Picture by Margaret McLaughlin
Seamus McKinney

FAMILIES left homeless when devastating floods swept through a village on the Donegal-Derry border almost six months ago fear their vacant homes may now be targeted by vandals.

Eight families living at Páirc an Ghrianáin in Burnfoot have been told that security provided by Donegal county council will be withdrawn next week.

They have been given until Monday to remove their belongings which have been stored in upstairs rooms so that the houses can be secured.

The families fear that they won't be able to return to their homes any time this year.

Unprecedented rain wrecked homes, roads and bridges across the north west last August.

Following the floods, Donegal county council closed off Páirc an Ghrianáin and employed a private security firm to guard the houses while families stayed in alternative accommodation.

A spokeswoman for the council said the authority is now engaging with residents to secure the houses.

She said: “Donegal county council can confirm that we are planning to secure the houses, which were flooded at Páirc an Ghrianáin in Burnfoot on 22 August 2017, for the medium to long term period.

“We are currently awaiting the outcome of the report from the CFRAMS (Catchment Flood Risk Assessment and Management) study and following this a decision will be made in relation to the future of these houses.”

The families fear that without round-the-clock security, their homes will be targeted by vandals.

Gerard Gallagher said he and his wife were told their home would be locked up but they are worried what will happen.

“They told us that everything has to come out of the houses; completely gut the houses out. We have stuff in the attic and we were told that we were told that they (security firm) are being disbanded now from the 18th and there's no security.

“It'll be just lying derelict and God knows what can happen.”

Mr Gallagher said the move was heart-breaking for his family who have lived in the house for 15 years and claimed all the residents of the development felt the same.

Enjoy reading the Irish News?

Subscribe now to get full access

Republic of Ireland news