Calmer weather expected for most of country today

Conditions expected to be more settled after violent winds and heavy rain

Cars in the flooded car park at Toft Park on the Salthill promenade during the high tide and storm weather in Galway last evening. Photograph: Joe O’Shaughnessy

Cars in the flooded car park at Toft Park on the Salthill promenade during the high tide and storm weather in Galway last evening. Photograph: Joe O’Shaughnessy

Thu, Dec 19, 2013, 01:00


Met Éireann said the worst of yesterday’s weather conditions will have subsided by today with severe warnings for the west of Ireland due to have expired by 3am.

It will be a welcome reprieve for those areas of the country that experienced violent winds and heavy rain throughout yesterday.

“We have had an episode of strong and squally southward winds and they have done some damage,” a Met Éireann spokesman said last night.

“I think the heavy rain is gone – there may just be a few showers.”

As conditions settled across most of the country yesterday evening, all eyes were on the west and northwest of the country where winds were expected to reach mean speeds of 70 to 90km/h with gusts of up to 150km/h in coastal areas.

The Coast Guard also issued warnings of high seas around Connacht and west Ulster as well as predictions of hail, sleet and snow showers overnight.

It advised the public not to go out on “exposed coasts, cliffs, piers, harbour walls, beaches, promenades or any other coastal areas during the inclement weather”.

“Huge waves can be whipped up by high seas. These waves can pose hazards to anyone close to the shoreline,” it said.


Bore the brunt
The west of Ireland bore the brunt of the bad weather, spurring Galway City Council to issue a weather warning for today, particularly before and after high tide, with Salthill, Grattan Road, Fishmarket and the Spanish Arch singled out as particular areas of concern for flooding.

Across Connemara and in rural parts of Galway, Mayo and Clare farmers spent the day moving their animals to safety. All fishing vessels were tied up in western ports as storm warnings forced trawler owners to head for safety in Rossaveal and the Aran Islands.

Farther south, Kerry experienced its own share of flooding. Crews from the water services department of Kerry County Council were working to clear roads and drains after heavy downpours led to sudden flooding in the Killarney area in particular.


Badly flooded
Town centre roads near the Killarney National Park as well as the Muckross area were badly flooded and rivers also overflowed their banks in the Mangerton area.

In the north of the county the N69 between Tralee and Listowel was flooded at the halfway point while lunchtime downpours in Tralee and Killarney were made worse by very dark conditions.