Aughrim resident digs trench in road to divert flood waters


A RESIDENT of Aughrim, Co Wicklow, has said he is prepared to go to jail after digging a trench in a road to divert flood waters from his home.

Barry Moules, a landscape gardener, dug a trench across the Rednagh Road, one of the main roads into the village, after his home was affected by a mudslide caused by flash flooding.

It is the fourth year in a row that the village, at the junction of several mountain valleys, has been affected by mud after heavy rainfall.

The picturesque village, some 80km from Dublin and 13km inland from Arklow, was once the winner of the National Tidy Town Awards.

Yesterday, buildings on the outskirts of the village were damaged and mud poured down the main street, disrupting traffic.

Mr Moules, who lives on the outskirts of Aughrim, said he had to rush home from a holiday he was spending with his family in Kilkenny.

“I’ve been affected with this for the last four years. I was on holiday and had to come home to save my house.”

Neighbours alerted him to the problem and did what they could to alleviate the situation until he arrived.

The repeated mudslides were partly caused by changes in the use of farmers’ fields, he said, but the main cause was torrential rain that had fallen on the village in the past few years.

Mr Moules said he had repeatedly asked Wicklow County Council to move drains outside his gate, which are prone to block up, to a more suitable location after previous mudslide and flooding incidents.

“The last time there was flooding, at the bank holiday weekend, I was here to alleviate it. I had only just finished cleaning up after that,” he said.

“I am sick of asking the council to move the drains, I am sick of talking to the council and to councillors about it. I have tried to go the talking route. Nobody is listening to me.”

The flooding was a constant worry, he said, and his children were afraid to go to sleep at night if it was raining.

Frustrated by a lack of progress, yesterday Mr Moules took matters into his own hands and dug the trench across the Rednagh Road.

“I won’t be flooded again and the road is closed now,” he said. “I’m prepared to go to jail over this; jail is better than my house being flooded.”

No one from Wicklow County Council was available to make a comment yesterday.