Belfast Telegraph

Electricity 'due to be restored'

All homes that have been without power following the Christmas storms have been told their electricity will be restored by the end of today.

As ESB Networks confirmed crews were close to clearing the remaining faults, Energy Minister Pat Rabbitte thanked them for their hard work over the holidays.

"I want to thank the ESB staff for their work in restoring power to more than 100,000 homes and businesses over the past two weeks," Mr Rabbitte said.

"While most of us were enjoying the Christmas break, ESB crews were working in very difficult weather conditions to repair the energy system.

"I want to thank the ESB and all emergency workers for their selfless endeavours over the Christmas period. "

It is said emergency repair crews had returned supplies to more than 75,000 customers since storms swept in from St Stephen's Day.

Outages from earlier stormy weather had already been repaired over the last fortnight.

As of this morning, around 800 homes and businesses were still without power.

ESB crews restored supply to around 10,000 customers on Friday alone as more than 500 faults on power lines were repaired.

"Work is progressing since early morning on clearing the remaining faults due to the St Stephen's Day storms on December 26 and 27," ESB said today.

"In the affected areas of the south west and mid west we have crews from all around the country assisting in the efforts.

"As outlined yesterday, this is frustratingly slow work and we thank customers for their patience."

ESB managing director Jerry O'Sullivan also thanked the repair crews.

"Being without electricity supply at this time of year is very difficult for those affected and I know that our crews worked tirelessly to ensure that the impact for customers was kept to a minimum," Mr O'Sullivan said.

"I want to pay tribute to all the crews and staff at ESB Networks who have shown such dedication and commitment over the last few days."

The final repairs, which resumed early this morning, bring to an end three days of working in what the company described as "very difficult conditions".

Crews had travelled from areas less affected to assist in the south and south west where the majority of the faults occurred.

Customers in Bandon, Killarney, Galway, Ennis, Newcastlewest and Tralee have been assured their power will be restored by tonight.

ESB said seven official storm days were recorded in the period between December 18 and 27.

However the impact on customers of the two days from St Stephen's Day was 10 times the average of customer minutes lost during normal storm conditions, it said.


From Belfast Telegraph