Thousands remain without power

Up to 20,000 households still without electricity five days after extreme winds

Power has now been restored to about 260,000 homes. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill / The Irish Times

Power has now been restored to about 260,000 homes. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill / The Irish Times

 


Thousands of households across the State were still without electricity last night, five days after hurricane-force winds cut supply, with ESB Networks indicating the scale of the damage and the difficult conditions were making the reconnection process “frustratingly slow”.


Treacherous conditions
Power has now been restored to about 260,000 homes but as many as 20,000 were still without electricity last night. ESB Networks said some damaged sections of the network were proving to be extremely difficult to reach due to treacherous ground conditions and fallen trees. It indicated that the process will continue for much of this week.

It said it had deployed more than 3,000 people to work through the faults with additional crews redeployed from areas where power supplies have been restored to the worst affected areas, including Tralee, Newcastlewest, Fermoy, Dunmanway, Waterford, Killarney, Limerick, Tipperary, Bandon and Enniscorthy.

It warned the public not to go near fallen power lines as there was a chance that they could be live. As school midterm breaks started across the State, ESB Networks asked parents, teachers and sports coaches to warn children in their care of the dangers of approaching fallen lines.

A 65-year-old man was killed while carrying out repairs on part of the telecoms network in west Cork on Saturday afternoon.

Michael O’Riordan of Riverdale, Skibbereen, was part of a four-man team erecting a telephone pole on the Castletownbere road near Glengarriff, Co Cork, when the incident occurred.

His body was taken to Cork University Hospital, where a postmortem will take place today. Inspectors from the Health and Safety Authority carried out a site inspection yesterday afternoon.

Mr O’Riordan was well known in west Cork and 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 due to take place yesterday was cancelled as a mark of respect.


Park routes blocked
In Co Kerry, tonnes of timber will have to be removed from the Killarney National Park and other areas after last 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 interests of public safety.

The “mammoth task” of cutting up the fallen timber will take 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.