Belfast Telegraph

Gale force winds batter coast

Gale force winds have battered the northern coast of Ireland as winter storms swept in off the Atlantic.

Counties Donegal, Londonderry and Antrim have experienced the worst of the conditions as high waves crashed in on coastal areas.

Benone beach at Magilligan, Co Derry, has been closed to the public due to the dangerous conditions.

Nearby on the Portstewart Strand two people were fortunate to escape uninjured when they were washed off their feet by the force of the waves.

Further eastward along the coast at the picturesque harbour of Ballintoy, Co Antrim, amateur photographers braved the gales in a bid to capture spectacular images of huge waves breaking on the rocks.

Power shortages were reported on both sides of the border overnight and crews of engineers are on standby to repair any other breaks in the network.

Ferry travel has been heavily disrupted with a number of sailings to Scotland either cancelled or delayed.

Met Eireann issued an orange wind warning - its second highest - for Donegal, Galway, Leitrim, Mayo, Sligo and Clare. In the first half of the day Donegal was hit hardest.

It also warned of a risk of coastal flooding tonight.

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