Storm Franklin: Orange warnings for six counties as ‘damaging gusts’ forecast

Risk of coastal flooding as strong winds and high seas lead to wave overtopping

Met Éireann has issued a new weather warning for "severe and damaging gusts" due to Storm Franklin this weekend.

A status-orange wind alert for Co Clare began at noon and would last until midnight, bringing “gale force westerly winds with severe and damaging gusts,” the forecaster said.

The winds combined with very high seas “will lead to wave overtopping, which may result in coastal flooding”.

A status-orange wind warning would also be in place in Galway and Mayo from 3pm on Sunday until 3am on Monday, while the same alert was issued for Donegal, Leitrim and Sligo, from 11pm on Sunday until 7am on Monday.

A status-yellow wind warning, in place for all of Ireland, would expire at 9am on Monday, and a status-yellow gale warning for all Irish coastal waters and the Irish Sea would end at midnight on Sunday, Met Éireann said.

A yellow rainfall warning for Cavan, Donegal, Leitrim, Mayo and Sligo would expire at 6pm on Sunday.

The GAA confirmed that four of Sunday's football league fixtures have been postponed due to the weather. The Division Two clash between Galway and Offaly, the midlands derby in Division Three between Westmeath and Longford, and Sligo and Cavan's Division Four clash were all affected. Wexford's Division Four meeting with Tipperary was called off as well.

An Garda Síochána advised road users to "drive with extra care and reduce speed if travelling on our roads throughout the day".

The latest storm warnings from Met Éireann came after Storm Eunice left thousands of homes without power, several roads blocked in the south of the country due to fallen trees, and air travel widely disrupted.

Meanwhile, tributes have been paid to Wexford County Council employee Billy Kinsella (59) who was killed on Friday while clearing storm debris.

The father of one died in the Ballythomas area of Wexford when a gust of wind toppled a tree near to the one he had been working to remove.

Mr Kinsella “gave his life in the service of others”, his local Wexford-Kilscoran Parish said in a statement.

“Billy worked for Wexford County Council and died in the line of duty clearing roads to keep people safe. Thank you for your dedicated service to the people of Wexford Billy,” it said.

Mr Kinsella is survived by his wife, Rita, and his son, Conor, as well as his siblings and extended family and friends. Funeral arrangements have not yet been announced.

TDs and local councillors extended their sympathies to Mr Kinsella’s family.

In a post on social media, TD Malcolm Noonan said Mr Kinsella's death had "highlighted the risk taken by council crews, emergency services, ESB crews and other frontline workers to keep us safe during these extreme weather events".

Wexford TD Verona Murphy said: "RIP Billy Kinsella. In carrying out his work to ensure the safety of others, clearing debris, Billy lost his life."

Wexford TD James Browne said Mr Kinsella's death was "very sad news" and said: "I want to extend my deepest sympathies to his family, colleagues and community at this very sad time."

“Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam,” he added.

Minister for Higher Education Simon Harris said: "Such sad news emerging from the Wicklow-Wexford border this afternoon. My thoughts are with the man's family, friends and community after such a tragic accident."