Families forced from flooded homes in Ireland as heavy rainfall continues
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Families forced from flooded homes in Ireland as heavy rainfall continues

FAMILIES in Laois and Kerry were forced to evacuate their homes overnight as heavy rainfall descended on parts of the country.

Around 40 families have spent the night in hotels or with relatives after three local rivers burst their banks in Mountmellick, Co. Laois.

Fire and rescue crews from Offaly, Westmeath, and Longford were called in to help flood relief efforts.

Dozens of homes and businesses were left under water following a day of torrential rain that saw flooding across parts of Munster and Leinster.

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Elsewhere in the country, an elderly couple in Co Kerry were left up to their waists in water within minutes of their home being flooded in the early hours of this morning.

Pat McElligott said his 88-year-old father and 78-year-old mother had to be evacuated when their home near Listowel flooded shortly after 4 am.

It is the third time their home has been flooded in almost three years.

Mr. McElligott says he fears for his parents' well-being every time it rains.

"Every time it rains we're worried about them in case we get flooded inside. It comes in so fast they could fall out of bed and drown or something. It comes in that fast," he said.

"The council now has had engineers here for the last three years about doing something. But still, nothing has been done. It's a joke."

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Kerry County Council says it has received funding recently to provide a long-term solution to flooding problems in the area.

Dowling's pub on O'Moore Street in Laois, on the other hand, kept its doors open despite having several inches of water on the floor.

Publican Junior Dowling says a bit flooding isn't enough to put off his regulars.

Padraig Fleming, Cathaoirleach of Laois County Council says he hasn't experienced it before.

He said: "There are three major rivers leading towards Mountmellick town; the Barrow, the Oweness, and the Blackwater.

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"This has been unprecedented rain that I don't believe we have experienced before and it came very fast."

Motorists are being warned to watch out for icy conditions this morning.

It follows severe rainfall overnight and a sharp cold snap.

Met Eireann has advised that temperatures will drop to a 'polar low' over Ireland in the coming days.

Conor Faughnan from the AA says people need to be careful this morning.

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He said: "In icy conditions, motorists are the ones who have to take care, cyclists will do their best but they are on imperfect infrastructure and sharing road space with us.

"The driver is the one who has to take extra care, treat secondary roads in particular with great suspicion."