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46,000 households without power as storm batters Ireland

Almost 46,000 Irish households woke up to no electricity after violent gusts battered large swathes of the country through the night.

Counties Dublin, Kildare, Donegal, Galway, Mayo, Sligo and Leitrim all suffered large outages.

Power crews worked through the night in difficult conditions to restore connections.

Bernadine Maloney, of electricty networks supplier ESB, said they were battling to fix more than 100 separate stoppages across the country.

"It'll be well into the day until we have everything assessed and power restored," she said.

"The worst-affected areas are the north of Dublin and in the north-west of the country.

"It's pretty widespread."

Numerous roads across Leinster, Connacht and Munster were blocked to traffic after the storm felled trees and left debris in its wake.

AA Roadwatch warned motorists to slow down, with high-sided vehicles especially vulnerable on open or exposed roads.

A "Status Orange Wind Warning" - the second most severe - issued by national forecaster Met Eireann for Cavan, Monaghan, Donegal, Dublin, Kildare, Longford, Louth, Wexford, Wicklow, Westmeath and Meath was predicted to remain in place until midday.

Some rail services were also delayed due to fallen trees on the lines while cross-channel ferry passengers were advised to contact their operator to check if crossings were cancelled.

In Northern Ireland, around 8,000 homes were left without electricity but that number was expected to rise during the day.

Trees and branches falling on to overhead electricity lines is the main cause of the damage, said NIE Networks.

NIE Networks spokeswoman Sara McClintock said the company is making arrangements to move staff and equipment to where they are most needed, with repair work due to begin as soon as it is safe to do so.

"We are already in position to get customers back on supply as quickly as humanly possible consistent with safety, and to keep customers regularly updated and informed," she said.

"Our local incident centres have been open from early morning and additional repair teams are being drafted in to the areas where they are most needed."

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