Flooded homeowners ‘left abandoned’

Two private householders in Burnfoot say they have been “left abandoned”, five weeks after their homes were destroyed in The Flood.

One family of four has been living exclusively in the upstairs of their home since August 22, with the entire downstairs area having been ripped out after being contaminated with floodwater and sewage.

Another man has spent the last 35 days in a hotel room, with no end to his accommodation “nightmare” in sight.

“Five weeks ago you couldn’t have moved on our street for the amount of politicians and council officials. In the first few days we were inundated with offers of help,” Burnfoot woman Sinead Coyle, who is living upstairs in her flood damaged home, said.

“They promised that money would be forthcoming to help us repair our homes but we are still left waiting. No work has started yet.”

Darren Donaghey, also from Burnfoot, has been living in a hotel for the past six weeks after his home was extensively damaged and contaminated in the flood.

Darren, who couldn’t get insurance owing to a previous flooding incident, blames much of the damage on the council, since it was sewage from a nearby council treatment plant that contaminated the floodwaters, requiring everything in his home to be disposed of.

“They put me out of my home, and my car has been written off as well, but who is going to pay for the repair work? There is no long-term plan. I still have no certainty about what is going to happen. No one is willing to accept responsibility.”

“I’m discriminated against because I’m not a council tenant. Nothing has been done to help me. We were told by the politicians not to worry, that the money was there to help us, but where is that money?” he asked.

Darren says it is “heartbreaking” to see his home still lying in ruins five weeks after it was flooded.



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Damian Dowds

Damian studied at NUI Maynooth and worked with Intel Ireland on graduation. Followings stints as a civil servant in Leinster House, and with magazine publisher Ashville Media, he returned to Inishowen to set up the Inishowen Independent in 2007.