FLOODING - Up to 170 children rescued during Mountmellick flood leaving creche damaged #WATCH

Lynda Kiernan & Michelle Hogan

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Lynda Kiernan & Michelle Hogan

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news@leinsterexpress.ie


Mountmellick flood rescuers and staff had to rescue 170 children from a community creche which has been damaged and has left the operators facing an urgent situation to find an alternative facility. 

Paddy Buggy gave the Leinster Express a tour around the Sonas community creche, which suffered the worst of the damage at the Mountmellick Development Association. 

The MDA complex is located right beside the River Owenass river in Irishtown.

"It's devastating. It happened so fast. In 30 minutes the whole lot was on top of us," he said.

The children were evacuated in the arms of staff and emergency services.

"Fair dues to everyone, they got stuck in, the fire brigade were brilliant. A huge tribute to our staff. The kids thought they were having an adventure so there was no worry that way," he said.

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There are 170 children from babies to preschoolers who rely on the centre, and 33 staff.

"We couldn't let kids back into this. We have brilliant families who are very loyal to us, we need to get a solution in the next few days. We will talk to the HSE and get people sorted," Paddy said.

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The MDA and Irishtown are eerily quiet and still under water, with the River Owenass still overflowing into the creche playground. 

"We have to let the river go down, then we will get an electrician to assess if we can turn on the power, and then get dehumidifiers.

"I'm numb still, just trying to take it in. It's one of those freakish things. But we have a great team here who really rose to the challenge."

"Its one of those freakish things," concluded Mr Buggy. 

The Hare's Corner restaurant at the MDA which was badly flooded remains closed today.

Free hot food and drinks at Conor Davis Park.