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Mass-goers bail out flood-hit priest 06.09.17

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 history.
“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”.
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