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Storm Barney causes power cuts as it lashes Ireland

Published 17/11/2015

The visitors' centre at the Cliffs of Moher was closed
The visitors' centre at the Cliffs of Moher was closed

Storm Barney wiped out power in 45,000 homes across Ireland as it swept in off the Atlantic.

Hurricane force winds were recorded offshore at weather buoys and lighthouses along the south coast with at least five flights into and out of Cork Airport grounded as winds gusted to about 125km/h.

The mid-west, south and east of the country bore the brunt and by tea time blackouts were reported in Tullamore, Athlone, Loughrea, Ennis, Tralee, Limerick, Killarney, Newcastlewest, Kilkenny, Clonmel, Roscrea, Bray and Arklow.

The highest wind speeds were recorded on the Fastnet Lighthouse with gusts up to 146km/h at 1pm.

In Dublin city centre Dawson Street was closed to the public after scaffolding fell while a large tree was also reported to have fallen in Ballybrack.

Fallen trees were also reported in parts of Ennis and Galway city while the Cliffs of Moher visitor centre was closed for safety reasons and treacherous driving conditions on motorways.

"Crews from ESB Networks have been dispatched in the affected areas, making the electricity network safe and are in the process of restoring power as quickly and effectively as possible," ESB Networks said.

"We apologise again for the impact this storm has had on all our customers."

About 15,000 homes in Co Clare were initially left without power, 12,000 in Munster another 10,000 homes in the south east.

Met Eireann warned of damaging winds gusting from 110km/h to 130 km/h especially over Munster and Leinster as Storm Barney tracked north-west towards Scotland.

Shannon Airport recorded wind gusting to 128km/h with a service from London Gatwick diverted and another from Birmingham cancelled.

Forecasters kept their advice to the public at status orange urging people to take precautions amid concerns of significant impact but the storm was reportedly moving quickly across the country.

Difficult driving conditions were reported nationwide with debris and broken branches being blown into the path of cars.

The Road Safety Authority (RSA) urged people on the roads to take extreme care.

It cautioned people to expect the unexpected while vehicle control could be affected by strong cross winds with h igh sided vehicles and motorcyclists particularly vulnerable.

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