An Ardara businessman and prominent community activist spoke emotionally of the trauma of the fire in Narin late on Monday night. While praising the unstinted commitment of the local community, he added that at the time of going to press, the fire had once again ignited.
Stephen McCahill, whose home was almost engulfed by the flames commented: “It was like one of the famous Bundoran waves or a Tsunami coming in towards by house in slow motion ready to engulf everything in total flames.
“When I arrived, the local volunteers wouldn’t let me through but I fought my way in, probably stupidly and grabbed some bits and pieces.
“The flames were over 30ft high and dancing within four feet of the house - it is an absolute miracle that no lives have been lost bin this county this weekend,” he explained.
“I cannot say enough about the hundreds of volunteers who just appeared out of nowhere - the farmers with their slurry tanks, young fellas with spades, my running mate in the election Thomas Pringle - they were all there together with one single objective.
“There might be a financial recession but when it comes to community spirit, this county is booming!”
Thomas Pringle TD who spent most of the weekend on the scenes of many fires said, “It was unbelievable firstly to see the scale of the fires - scenes like you would only normally see on television but also the amount of people who turned up to combat the blaze.
“There were slurry tanks, people with pics and shovels - it was a total community effort.
“My wife Caroline had been on Facebook urging people to get out there and do whatever they could do to help and the certainly did - it is an absolute credit,” he commented.
“The fire brigades have also done a tremendous job - the simple fact is that they cannot be everywhere and in their absence, the local community stepped in. They are the unsung heroes.
“I have heard the rumours that some of these fires may have been malicious or the result of abject carelessness - if this turns out to be the case, then they should be subject to the full rigours of the law.
“There has been widespread destruction to the landscape, wildlife and forestry - we are only fortunate that no lives have been lost.”
At the time of going to press, Stephen McCahill told this newspaper, “There are about 400 people here just now - the fires have just caught on again and we are looking at a similar situation as yesterday. We are going to have a tough fight on our hands.”