ESB working to restore power to 20,000 homes

Investigation into death of Cork man who died trying to fix telephone cable

A man struggles with an umbrella during stormy weather this week in Ballymena, Co Antrim. Photograph: Paul Faith/PA Wire

A man struggles with an umbrella during stormy weather this week in Ballymena, Co Antrim. Photograph: Paul Faith/PA Wire

Sun, Feb 16, 2014, 17:47

Some 20,000 households across the country remain without power this evening.

ESB Networks said power supply has been restored to over 260,000 customers who were left without electricity following last Wednesday’s Storm Darwin.

However it said the scale of the damage and the difficult conditions were making the restoration process frustratingly slow.

A major obstacle of restoration process is getting access to repair the network with extremely difficult ground conditions and clearing fallen trees, which in the majority of cases was the cause of the network fault.

The restoration process is expected to run well into the week.

People should ensure children do not approach fallen lines as there is a chance they may be live.

The latest estimates of when electricity supplies will be restored to towns and villages around the country can be found at:

Updates will be provided as they become available during the day.

Meanwhile, the 65-year-old man who was killed in an accident while working on a telephone pole in West Cork has been named as Michael O’Riordan of Riverdale, Skibbereen.

Mr O’Riordan was well known in West Cork for his work with local organisations. He was a prominent member of the the Skibbereen and District Car Club and was involved for many years with the Fastnet Rally.

An autocross event in West Cork which was due to take place today has been cancelled as a mark of respect to the family of Mr O’Riordan.

Mr O’Riordan was a former employee of Eircom. In recent years he worked as a subcontractor in Ireland and the UK. His body was removed to Cork University Hospital where a postmortem will take place tomorrow.

Health and Safety Authority officials are due to carry out an inspection of the scene of his death today.

His current employer, KN Network Services, has extended its sympathies to his wife Mary and their three adult children Connor, Rosemary and Dearbhaile. Eircom has also offered its condolences to the family of the deceased.

Skibbereen based Fine Gael councillor Adrian Healy said he first met Michael O’Riordan through his work with the Fastnet Rally.

“Michael was always in good form. He was easy to chat with. I don’t think I ever saw him in a bad mood. He was very involved in motor sports and people knew him through that.”

In Co Kerry, tonnes of timber will have to be removed from the Killarney National Park and other areas after Wednesday’s hurricane force winds.

Virtually all routes in the 25,000 acre park stretching from the town towards Kenmare have been blocked by trees and dozens of walkways were closed off this weekend in the interest of public safety.

The “mammoth task” of cutting up the fallen timber will taken time and before that a full inspection will have to be carried out of the park, a spokesman for the National Parks and Wildlife Service said.

Priority is being given to main access routes.

Buildings in the 25,000 acre park were also damaged, including the newly-restored Killarney House.