A Feeny family snowed in for five days were yesterday finally receiving help they desperately needed.
Brendan Kelly and his family were stranded on their sheep farm near Banagher Glen since the Arctic conditions hit on Thursday night.
They managed to get most of their 250-strong flock to safety, but Mr. Kelly said they have struggled since.
“It is bad,” the 67-year-old told the ‘Journal’, relieved help was on the way. “When I was younger I was resilient. In 1963, in the bad snow, I could have jumped over the moon, but I’m older now and it’s very hard.
“It’s miserable being stuck in the house this long too, but it’s great to get this cleared. I’m very grateful.”
Yesterday an operation was in place to get the laneway, which is full of snow, clear.
Local councillor Sean McGlinchey said local firm KPL, without hesitation, gave the use of their own 10-tonne track machine to clear the family’s lane.
“They didn’t even ask about cost, they said they would do what needed to be done,” said Colr. McGlinchey. “It’s times like this when you see real community spirit, and you have to give credit where credit is due.”
Mr. Kelly was worried he would run short of feed for his sheep. He was also concerned as his wife fell on a step at the weekend and hurt her back.Mr. Kelly himself suffers badly from arthritis. Mr. Kelly’s daughter, 23-year-old Kathleen, said it was a stressful time.
“What if you hurt yourself, if you fall and get trapped? Who is going to come and help you?” she said.
Kathleen says having power is a godsend, and she was as relieved as her father when work was well underway by yesterday evening to clear the snow.
Feeny farmer Iain Canning says he has never seen conditions like it.
“The lane up to Brendan’s house was just full of snow, unbelievable,” he said, “I’ve never seen anything like it. You can’t see the hedges, the gates or fences, nothing, just snow. The drifts must have been 12-foot high.”
FULL REPORT ON PAGE 3