Winds turn Irish tourist office upside down
An Irish tourist office landed upside down after high winds battered the country.
Gale force winds flipped the pre-fab off its base on Achill Island off Co Mayo and rolled it over on to nearby Keel Strand.
The pre-fab is used as a summer office to welcome visitors to the picturesque island in peak season. Nobody was in it when it was battered by the storm and upended on Wednesday afternoon.
Achill Tourism manager Helen Applegarth said a similar incident occurred at a summer funfair in July on the island when a gust of wind turned a lorry on to its side.
"It (the office) has been lifted by the wind and turned on to its roof.
"It doesn't look to be too damaged," Ms Applegarth said.
"We had some work done on it earlier in the year and it seems to have protected it from actually breaking the roof and the walls." Ms Applegarth said the structure, which is about 20ft long and 10ft wide, was flipped on its side and then on to its roof by the high winds.
"Hopefully we'll be able to restore services in the summer," she added.
Over the past week the country's weather has gone from mild to wild and back again, with positively balmy temperatures set for New Year's Eve to welcome in 2012.
The holiday weather has proved a roller coaster this year with Christmas Day's record 14C temperature followed up by 130kmh winds and storms on Wednesday.
A storm depression which tracked eastward over the Irish Sea brought with it strong and gale force winds which knocked down ESB powerlines leaving thousands without electricity.
But the good news for revellers is that tomorrow will be a balmy day with temperatures between 10-12C in parts of the country -- warmer than April's average Dublin daytime peak temperature of 11.4C.
Met Eireann forecasters say tomorrow's weather will be mainly cloudy and breezy, with some patchy rain and showers -- although late-night revellers will be hit by lashing rain which will sweep across the country during the night.
A Met Eireann forecaster said: "New Year's Eve will be mild with highs of 9-12C, breezy, mostly cloudy with some rain but generally small amounts and some bright or short sunny spells.
"The night will be a mild end to the year, with lowest temperatures of 6-9C and dry spells with just patches of light drizzle here and there -- but indications suggest a spell of very wet weather will spread from the Atlantic late in the night."
The first day of 2012 will be ushered in with heavy rain in the morning which will turn to showers later in the day and cooler temperatures.