Saturday 23 March 2019

Mum dodges death as trees crash through roof in storm

The house with the tree on the roof
The house with the tree on the roof

A Meath mother had a lucky escape when two trees came crashing through her home during Storm Eleanor.

Mary Dardis has been left homeless after her cottage was destroyed by the trees, which also badly damaged her car.

The Navan resident was watching TV in her sitting room when her Gate Lodge cottage, in Old Johnstown, was struck by the wrath of Storm Eleanor at around 7.45pm last Tuesday.


"I heard an almighty bang and a huge crack," she said.

"I ran into my room and lay at the side of my bed for about 20 minutes before I mustered up the courage to go back to the lounge and get my phone to ring my family.

"Two trees had landed on my house from either side, blocking the front and back doors so I was locked inside.

"I could see the ceiling bulging from the weight of the trees but thankfully my landlord and my ex-husband, Michael, rushed to my rescue and removed the tree parts from the front door so I could get out.

"The trees were enormous and the weighty boughs and branches also slammed into my car outside.

"It's gone to the garage so I'm not sure of the extent of the damage yet."

Mary spent the night with her daughter, Melissa, before returning the following day to view the damage, which got even worse when the roof collapsed on Thursday night due to the weight of the trees.

"I was devastated. Most of my home is destroyed, as well as a lot of my belongings, including very sentimental items," Mary said.

However, although very shaken, she has remained positive and realised that things could have been much worse.


"I'm heartbroken to see my home gone but it could have been worse. I wasn't injured at all thankfully," she said.

"The insurance will sort things and the car can be fixed. Thank God no one was killed.

"I'm traumatised from it but I'm OK and my family have been fantastic. I've been staying with my daughter Melissa and my son Colum hasn't left my house since it happened.

"He's been up there all the time trying to do what he can on-site. I'm so grateful to my family and friends.

"Everyone was told to batten down the hatches for Storm Ophelia and no one really said anything about Storm Eleanor, which I thought was much worse," Mary added.

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