Thousands of people were left without power on Wednesday as Storm Agnes caused flooding, disruption to public transport and significant structural damage as it swept across the country.
Met Éireann placed counties Cork, Kerry, Waterford, Wexford, Wicklow, Kilkenny and Carlow under an orange wind warning for much of the day, while there was also an orange rain warning in place for Cork, Kerry and Waterford.
A number of other counties, including Carlow, Dublin, Kilkenny, Wexford and Wicklow, were issued with a yellow rain warning.
Wind speeds edged into Met Éireann’s red category of above 80km/h on two occasions at Roche’s Point, Co Cork, where mean speeds reached 83km/h, as well as on Sherkin Island off the southwest coast where they reached 81km/h.
ESB Networks said the high winds led to a number of power outages across the country, running into the thousands. However, it described the scale of disruption as “relatively modest” and in line with past experiences of similar orange wind warnings.
“ESB Networks crews are mobilised and are still working towards restoring power, as quickly and safely as possible, to the vast majority of those affected by this evening,” a spokesman said.
“Crews will mobilise again at first light tomorrow morning to restore power to any remaining customers.”
Met Éireann meteorologist Andrew Doran-Sherlock said the south and southwest of the country was battered with heavy rain and strong winds long before Storm Agnes made landfall.
He said “plenty” of Met Éireann stations in the southwest reported above 30mm of rain while there were a number of isolated reports of more than 40mm, including in Mallow, Co Cork (43mm); Killarney, Co Kerry (41mm); and Clonmel, Co Tipperary (39mm).
There were numerous reports of flooding, although the worst of it was confined to Co Cork and the southwest of the country. There were also reports of fallen and uprooted trees in Dublin and Wicklow.
A woman was rescued from her car in Draperstown, Co Derry, after it became trapped by floodwater. When fire crews from Maghera and Magherafelt arrived at the scene, the car was submerged in the river Moyola.
A firefighter broke a rear window of the car and brought the woman out on to the roof. She walked across a ladder to safety shortly before the car was fully submerged in the river.
In another dramatic incident, the roof was blown off a building in Youghal, Co Cork. Elsewhere, Kerry County Council said it had crews dealing with fallen trees and branches at a number of locations throughout the day.
Dublin Airport said it operated largely as normal but that it received a number of flights that had been diverted from Kerry Airport. Cork Airport experienced some delays and cancellations.
In a statement, Irish Ferries said disruption to schedules may be experienced due to adverse weather conditions over the coming days, with passengers advised to check schedules.
Iarnród Éireann reported a number of delays to Dart services, while some intercity trains were running more than an hour behind schedule during the evening rush hour.
Mr Doran-Sherlock said Storm Agnes was clearing northeast towards Scotland, where UK authorities were bracing the public for widespread disruption.
Thursday is expected to start off dry in Ireland with some sunny spells before a band of rain moves east across the country. However, the forecaster is not expecting “any huge accumulations” of rain, and it will be a “breezy day rather than a windy day”.