Mass-goers bail out flood-hit
A PRIEST has revealed
how evening Mass-goers helped bail out his church
with buckets during the severe thunder storm that
struck the north west two weeks ago.
Culdaff-born Fr Paddy O’Kane said the severity of
the rain, thunder and lightning felt “like something
in a movie” as flood-water rose and threatened to
breach his Holy Family Church in Derry city.
The chapel had been flooded twice before in its
“We went to the south facing side door, where the
church is most vulnerable, to check the water
level,” he said.
“It was trapped there,
coming down from the side of the hill by the school
and past our front door. It was eight inches high,
just about to come in and a few minutes later the
church would have been flooded,” the cleric told
parishioners via the parish website.
“I appealed for more volunteers from the men coming
to evening Mass and we managed to bail the water
out. It took over an hour and we were all soaked to
the skin,” he added.
Fr O’Kane (69), however, said that the deluge
re-started even heavier an hour later, leaving him
alone with a bucket in rain so heavy he felt like he
“was standing under a tap.” He said more
parishioners came to his rescue and the church was
saved twice in one night.
Fr Paddy O'Kane.
He said he would be
“eternally grateful” to everyone who came out in the
storms to help.
“In times of crisis we can also experience the best
in human nature. The saying goes “after the verb ‘to
love’ the verb ‘to help’ is the most beautiful in
the whole world”.