Monday 27 January 2020

'I was saved by my rubber clogs when lightning hit our house', says granddad

Terence and Jacqueline Alcock at their home in Cobh with the rubber clogs Terence says
saved his life. Photo: Daragh McSweeney
Terence and Jacqueline Alcock at their home in Cobh with the rubber clogs Terence says saved his life. Photo: Daragh McSweeney

A Cork couple had a miraculous escape when lightning struck their home - with the husband's life saved by his rubber-soled clogs.

Terence and Jacqueline Alcock were stunned by the scale of the damage inflicted.

The blast "turned the room orange" and Terence said but for the fact he was wearing rubber-soled clogs he would have been seriously injured.

The bolt smashed a hole in the ceiling of their home, blew electrical sockets and mirrors from walls and even blew the gutters off.

Built-in wardrobes were also damaged by the force of the strike.

It took five units from Cork Fire Brigade to secure their property at Bay View estate, Cobh, after it was struck at 11pm on Thursday.


"We are lucky to be alive," Terence admitted. "It was absolutely terrifying."

He believed the bolt hit the roof and travelled down into the house "maybe by the satellite cables".

Terence was watching TV with his wife and granddaughter Trianna. "I never heard a bang as loud in my life.

"The whole room went orange. There was this jolt of energy surging through me. I was wearing rubber clogs and think they saved me.

"It was like being struck with a sledgehammer. You could feel it going into your lungs. Trianna was crying and stressed. I was trying to figure out what was going on.

"I thought a bomb had gone off outside. The energy surge hit me but I didn't realise what was going on.

"The sockets and light fixtures blew off. The mirrors on the wall blew off.

"The wardrobe doors were blown off. We were very, very fortunate to escape it.

"I got everyone into the hallway and we stayed there.

"I opened the front door but was afraid for everyone to go outside because the whole street was bright white from the lightning strikes.


"Then I thought of the car and we went there," he added.

"There is a hole in the roof and ceiling. We are now waiting for the council to come down and help us out.

"We have no power, there is the hole in the roof but I'd say we could still live here.

"My granddaughter got a terrible fright from it. I felt a bit weak myself at the time. But I'm OK. I cannot really remember the seconds after it struck.

"Putting the house right now is the next thing."

The couple admitted they were "overwhelmed" by offers of public support via Cork's RedFM.

Lightning strikes also caused chaos across south Munster, bringing widespread power cuts.

In Tipperary, eight cattle died after a tree they were sheltering under was struck by a bolt.

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