If there’s one thing last week’s ‘once in a generation’ weather event taught us it’s that everybody needs good neighbours, and judging by some of the videos on social media last week, not everyone is as fortunate as those of us living in Carnagh.
Last Friday, ‘The Beast from the East’ teamed up with Storm Emma to deposit snow drifts as high as five and six feet across south Roscommon. Our lane, which has taken a real hammering this winter, was impassable come Friday afternoon. We were trapped in our, granted, warm and safe homes but our bread supplies were depleting rapidly.
While most of us were delighted with the day off, judging by the images and videos from places like City West and Jobstown it didn’t take long for the social contract to break down among some communities. Local businesses were looted while the nearby Lidl, which employs up to 30 people, was destroyed by a ne’er-do-well in a digger. A sad indictment of a certain element in Irish society, it put a huge dampener on some of the great craic that was knocked out of last week’s big freeze.
Unfortunately, a (very) small minority will sometimes find a way of ruining it for everyone else, and while I’m all for throwing the book at those involved (if it would do any good), I’d much rather pay tribute to the (vast) majority of people who came together in a number of ways to prove that a sense of community still permeates Irish society.
So, with that in mind, let’s return to our potholed lane in south Roscommon and meet our two heroes…
Liam Brennan started from just outside his home at one end of the lane while local landowner Errol Auchmuty started from the crossroads at the other end as they teamed up last Friday to clear the snowdrifts and lead their neighbours to freedom.
Driving back and forth in heavy machinery, the two men edged closer to one another with each bucketful of snow they removed. They eventually met in the middle of the lane that afternoon, and while no-one could confirm if any greetings or high fives were exchanged, Mr. Brennan and Mr. Auchmuty can be sure that their efforts were greatly appreciated by their neighbours. It was a scene which was replicated across the country last week and should be our lasting memory of the ‘Great Snow of 2018’.