Hurricane Ophelia

The worst storm in 50 years hits Ireland

Niamh Towey, Sorcha Pollak Tue, Oct 17
LIVE: Hurricane Ophelia

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  • 06:47
    Good morning folks.
    Thanks for joining us on the Irish Times liveblog, where we will be bringing you all the latest on Hurricane Ophelia as it tracks its way over Ireland.
    Met Éireann has warned that this level of storm is unprecedented, bearing similarities to 1961’s Storm Debbie which killed 11 people.
    The hurricane is currently just off the Southwest coast, threatening to make landfall there soon.
    There is a red wind warning in place for the entire country with wind speeds in excess of 130km/h expected in many areas.
    All schools are closed, Bus Éireann has cancelled all its services from 9am and all HSE outpatient appointments are cancelled.
  • 07:00

    Ophelia is forecast to track directly over Ireland during daytime today. Violent and destructive gusts are forecast with all area at risk.

    An update from Met Eireann
    Winds will reach their maximum strengths from the following times in the following areas. The public are advised to stay indoors from these times.
    From 07.00: coastal areas of Counties Cork and Kerry
    From 09.00: Remaining parts of Munster
    From 12.00: South Leinster and Galway
    From 13.00: Dublin and remaining Leinster
    From 15.00: North Connacht and Ulster

  • 07:03

  • 07:05

  • 07:06

  • 07:13
    Irish Rail Update:
    All Dart, Intercity and Commuter services are expected to operate this morning except on the following routes:

    - Limerick Junction to Waterford
    - Limerick to Ballybrophy via Nenagh

    A speed restriction of 80kph will be in place on the following routes:

    - Tralee to Mallow
    - Cork to Charleville
    - Cork to Cobh/Midleton
    - Waterford to Kilkenny
    - Rosslare Europort to Gorey

    As a result delays of 15 to 30 minutes are expected to services operating on the following routes for morning services:

    - Cork to Dublin
    - Tralee to Cork/Dublin
    - Waterford to Dublin
    - Rosslare Europort to Dublin
  • 07:13
    The Government’s crisis management committee, the National Emergency Co-ordination Group met this morning and warned against all unnecessary travel while the storm is passing.
  • 07:14
    A reminder of some of the closures and cancellations today
    The Department of Education said all schools, colleges and other institutions would stay closed on Monday. All schools in the North have also been advised to close, according to the Stormont press office while Ibec has urged all businesses to “minimise the movement of their employees” on Monday.
    Bus Éireann has cancelled all its services between 5am and 2pm on Monday, while An Post has cancelled all its post services, while Dublin City Council said all its parks, libraries and swimming pools will be closed.
    Most court sittings nationally are being postponed and the HSE has cancelled all outpatient appointments.
  • 07:19
    The hurricane is currently 160km off the Co Kerry coast and 320km off Valentia, a spokesperson for Met Éireann told The Irish Times this morning
  • 07:23
    Luas Red and Green Line services are currently operating as normal.
    Luas has advised people to check, the Luas App, and Twitter @luas for all updates.
    We will let you know here if there are any disruptions.
  • 07:36
    The hurricane has now shifted track slightly meaning the west and northwest will be worst hit.

    The US National Hurricane Center in Miami has said the worst hit areas will be counties Galway, Mayo, Sligo and Donegal, though hurricane-force winds are expected in every county.
  • 07:43
    Just in from Anne Lucey in Kerry:

    It looks like Ophelia is starting her act, but she is at the chorus stage, setting the scene and drawing plenty of breath.
    The rain is squalling against the window, the wind is coming down the chimney in gusts.
    Outside the tall pines are swaying already at their tops.
    As I write, I can hear it strengthening from the west.
    Most public services have been shut down and many shops are closed, including a hardware store in Cahersiveen , a chemist in Tralee and a number of credit unions.
    A funeral mass has been put back until tomorrow in Killarney.
    The Kerry County Council meeting - whose main item is wind energy policy - has been put back too.
  • 07:46
  • 07:48
  • 08:02
    Irish Rail update on tickets:
    Customers with tickets for today's services who decide not to travel today as a result of the storm will be able to claim full refunds. Please contact Irish Rail to claim a refund.

    In addition, customers with online bookings and reservations can travel on earlier or later trains without charge, for all ticket types (Low Fare, Semi-Flex, Fully Flex).

    Low, Semi-Flex and Fully flexible customers wishing to do so, do not need to amend the booking online. A reserved seat will not be provided on your alternative service.
    Fully flexible customers can amend their booking online to ensure a reserved seat.
  • 08:17
    <p>The latest storm track from the US National Hurricane Centre - the times on the map are irish</p>

    The latest storm track from the US National Hurricane Centre - the times on the map are irish

  • 08:19

    An update on ESB from our reporter Sean Dunne:

    Head of Corporate Affairs for ESB, Bernardine  Maloney, has urged members of the public not to ring the ESB unless it is an emergency.

    The ESB is urging members of the public not to ring in to report a power outage unless they are encountering an emergency.

    “To report an emergency people can ring 1850-372-999. Do not approach any fallen lines, people sometimes think they should clear them off the road or to wrap them up or kick them to the side. They shouldn’t as they are live wires and dangerous.”

  • 08:23
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  • 08:51
    <strong>POWER OUTAGES:<br /></strong>Over 5,000 households are now without power. You can check for updates on your area on <a href='' target='_blank' ></a>.<strong><br /></strong>
    Over 5,000 households are now without power. You can check for updates on your area on
  • 08:54

    More on the power outages from reporter Sean Dunne:

    ESB Networks has said 5,000 customers are currently without power this morning.

    Major outages in parts of Co Cork and Co Kerry are being reported with over   3,000 people without power this morning.

    Approximately, 1,600 people are without power at Woodford near Killarney in Co Kerry, while a further 1,300 people are without power in Bishopstown and Ballincollig in Co Cork.

    The Head of Corporate Affairs at ESB, Bernardine Maloney, told RTÉ that widespread power outages are expected.



  • 08:59

    Kerry Airport has announced it is closed and passengers are asked not to come to the airport until tomorrow.

  • 09:05
  • 09:10
    BREAKING: All Dublin Bus services have been suspended from 10am to 7pm
  • 09:12
  • 09:19

    Members of the public have been warned not to attempt to take photographs outdoors when Storm Ophelia hits.

    Jim Griffin, officer in charge at Dunmore East Coastguard in Co Waterford, says people shouldn’t put their lives at risk for the sake of a photo.

    “The cameras on the modern phones nowadays – everyone loves to get to the coastline and get that really high-quality snap of the ferocious weather,” he told Newstalk Breakfast.

    “Our advice would be stay well inland and don’t go for that ultimate photograph.

    “It is not worth your life and it is not worth the rescue services lives either.”

  • 09:19
  • 09:42

    Cliff Taylor has been crunching this morning's traffic numbers:

    Morning traffic volumes in the 6 to 8am rush hour on M50 are well down from normal  and traffic on the main inter-urban motorways has fallen even more sharply, according to initial data.

    The average flow of traffic today between junctions 7 and 9 on the M50 – the country’s busiest road -  was 20,993, a third lower than the 31,348 recorded in the same period one week earlier, according to  figures on the Transport Infrastructure Ireland website.

    The peak traffic time after 7am showed a total of 8,385, compared to 11,956 last Monday.

    The pattern is repeated across the country. In Cork, on the section of the N40 between the Jack Lynch tunnel and the Mahon junction, volumes in the same rush-hour period were 6,063, less than half the 14,744 recorded in the same period last week.

    With motorists clearly heeding warnings to only take essential journeys, volumes on the main motorway routes have collapsed even more sharply, according to initial data.

    Sample sections of the M6 and M7 show early volumes running some two thirds below the same day last week.

  • 09:43
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  • 10:07

    The Irish Times has disabled its subscription meter for 24 hours to allow readers unlimited access to important information about Hurricane Ophelia as it sweeps across Ireland


  • 10:09
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  • 10:13

    Lahinch is "eerily calm," reports Gordon Deegan:

    “We have had windier days in July.”

    That is according to Lahinch hotelier Michael Vaughan who said this morning that the seaside resort of Lahinch “is eerily calm”.

    He said: “We have some clear skies at the moment and we haven’t felt any major gusts so far.”

    Mr Vaughan operates the 4-star Vaughan’s Lodge hotel in the resort and has been up since 5am this morning as he has prepared for Ophelia, which is due to make landfall in Clare later this morning.

    Mrr Vaughan said that his 91 year old mother, Philomena who reminding him of the dangers posed by storms last night when she said that in 1961 with ‘Storm Debbie’, there was water flowing down the main street in Lahinch with fish in the water.

    He said that high-tide is due in Lahinch mid-afternoon and the timing of the high tide is to the resort's benefit. He said: “We are braced for that, but there doesn’t seem to be a particularly high swell so I think it would be freakish if we had the flooding of the storms in 2014."

    He said: “The hype around this storm has been unbelievable but when it comes to safety you can never take enough precautions.”

    Further up the Clare coast, the Cliffs of Moher visitor centre is closed for the day as a precaution.

  • 10:13
    BREAKING: Luas services are closing down for the day at 12pm
  • 10:14
  • 10:16

    All Dart services are still running, though they are the last public transport service left standing in Dublin.

    We are monitoring their updates and will let you know if they are cancelled.


  • 10:17
    Permanent TSB has announced it is closing all of its branches across Ireland for the day
  • 10:27

    The latest from Barry Roche in Cork:

    High winds – which hit 61km/h gusting to 102km/h at Cork Airport   earlier this morning – are beginning to cause serious disruption to travel with gardai reporting trees down at numerous locations around the county as Hurricane Ophelia continues to affect power supplies.

    According to the Gardai, fallen trees are blocking roads in Bandon, Blarney, Inniscarra, Waterfall, Bishopstown,   Donnybrook, Glanmire, Newtownshandrum and Ballyhea while a fallen telegraph pole is blocking a road in Kinsale and fallen signage led to the closure of Blarney Street in the city.

    Meanwhile ESB Networks are continuing to respond to new power outages with repair crews now attending to outages in Bishopstown in Cork city where 500 customers are without power and Ballincollig where some 750 customers are affected.

    Over 100 customers have been left without power in Charleville in North Cork while some 1250 customers in Ballymacarbery in West Waterford have been left without   power as have some 900 customers in Cappamore in Co Limerick.

  • 10:31

    Also from Barry Roche in Co Cork, many funerals have been cancelled:

    Hurricane Ophelia is impacting on individual families who have lost loved ones in recent days with families in Togher in Cork city and Fermoy in North Cork both taking the decision to postpone funeral masses for loved ones scheduled for Monday until Tuesday when the storm has passed.

  • 10:33
    The IKEA Dublin store in Ballymun and the IKEA Order and Collection Point in Carrickmines will be closed today, "in the interest of safety for both our co-workers and customers," a statement from the company said.
  • 10:42

    Average winds are at  over 135 kph mph at the Fastnet Lighhouse off the south-west coast of Cork  and gusts of over 168 kph hve been recorded.

    The winds can be followed with regular updates on the Fastnet Lighthouse twitter.

    The measurement is given in knots. Multiply by 1.85 to translate into kilometres per hour or 1.15 if you prefer miles per hour

  • 10:42
  • 10:44
  • 10:48

    There are now 22,000 households without power across the country, according to the ESB.

    You can check for updates on

  • 10:50

    Update on Irish Rail services from our reporter Tim O'Brien:

    Luas and Dublin Bus are to suspend services but Iarnrod Eireann plans to maintain Dart services “as far as possible”.

    Barry Kenny of Iarnrod Eireann said specialist tree removers were on hand to clear debris from the track.

    While he said services would obviously depend on the severity of the damage, the intention was to keep going, and if forced to close temporarily, to have services back up and running as quickly as possible after the storm passes

  • 10:52

    An Post:

    All deliveries will cease from 12pm and all post offices will be closed by 12pm

  • 10:57
    BREAKING: All Luas services on the Green and Red lines have now finished
  • 10:57
  • 11:02

    Barry Roche on Co Cork funerals:

    One undertaker, Michael Crowley of Crowley Funeral Directors in Ballincollig told, The Irish Times that after consulting with a bereaved family and with their agreement, they had decided to defer a funeral scheduled for today until Tuesday.

    “We just felt with the inclement weather and with the agreement of the family, it was safer to defer the funeral for a day – obviously there was an issue with the high winds but there was also an issue with high tides at the crematorium in Ringaskiddy so it was felt wiser all round to defer it for a day."

    In West Cork, Charles O’Sullivan of Arundel and O’Sullivan Funeral Directors confirmed that they had similarly postponed a funeral due to take place today until Tuesday as Hurricane Ophelia simply made it unsafe to go ahead today.

    “We have deferred a funeral until tomorrow on health and safety grounds and the family and the church were fully on board with that – it’s extremely bad here   at the moment and it was just too dangerous   to go ahead especially given how open and exposed the graveyard is here,” he said.

  • 11:13

    A tree has fallen on a passing car on the Blarney to Tower Road in Co Cork but no details are available yet on whether anyone has been injured.

    Meanwhile a crane has blown down on the slip road off the N25 leading to Little Island and one lane is closed to traffic.

  • 11:14
  • 11:15

    From our Political Correspondent Fiach Kelly:

    Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has asked people to stay where they are - either at home or in work - as the country deals with Storm Ophelia.  

    Mr Varadkar was speaking at a press conference ahead of a meeting of the National Emergency Coordination Committe in Dublin.  

  • 11:16

    Latest data shows a gust of 191 kph at the Fasnet Lighthouse off the coast of Co Cork

  • 11:19

    Former US president Bill Clinton has cancelled his visit to Ireland:

    Storm Ophelia has forced former US president Bill Clinton to postpone a planned intervention in Northern Ireland’s political stalemate.

    The Press Association understands Mr Clinton had been due in on Monday to meet the North's political political parties as they continue to struggle to reach a deal to restore the collapsed Executive. But the visit was called off at late notice due to the severe weather warnings.

    It is understood the visit may still take place on Tuesday.

    According to Stormont sources, Mr Clinton planned to take the meetings ahead of an official event in Dublin on Tuesday, when he will receive an honorary doctorate from Dublin City University.

    The face-to-face talks were aimed at encouraging former government partners Sinn Fein and the DUP to work through their differences and restart powersharing.

  • 11:31
    All Dublin Bike stations have been closed for the day
  • 11:32
  • 11:33

    Barry Roche in Cork:

    Gardai are reporting trees down at several locations in the county including in Mallow, Rathcormac and Doneraile in North Cork, Cloghroe in Mid-Cork and Monkstown and Passage West in the Cork Harbour area with roads blocked in all locations.

  • 11:47
    There are now 100,000 homes and businesses without power, according to ESB
  • 11:49
    BREAKING: All Dart services will be cancelled after 2pm
  • 11:50
  • 12:03
  • 12:06

    Elaine Keogh reports from Co Louth:

    Two people who went kite-surfing off the Louth coast this   morning prompted a response from the emergency services when they went out of sight.

    The Irish Coastguard confirmed that the Rescue 116 helicopter as well as the Clogherhead Lifeboat and Greenore Coastguard responded when it was reported that the kite-surfers had gone out of sight off Blackrock.

    A spokesman confirmed that the kite-surfers were able to make their own way back to shore but reminded people that the advice today is to "stay back, stay high and stay dry."

    Gardai from Dundalk spoke to the kite-surfers afterwards.

    The kite-surfers have been criticised, with local councillor Maria Doyle saying, “people are shocked at anybody putting the emergency services at risk.   This is thrill seeking type of behaviour and it is shocking.”

  • 12:07
    ESB Networks Outage update: 120,000 customers, predominantly in southern counties, are now without power
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  • 12:41
    According to, Dublin will see the worst of Hurricane Ophelia between 3pm and 7pm
  • 12:43

    Latest update from our Northern Editor Gerry Moriarty :

    Schools and universities closed in advance of the arrival of Ophelia while air, sea, rail and bus services also were several disrupted.

    The Northern Secretary James Brokenshire said the British army would be brought in to deal with emergencies should it be needed.

    Sources said that as part of his visit to Ireland to receive an honorary doctorate in Dublin former US President Bill Clinton was due to make a surprise visit to Belfast on Monday to try to end the political deadlock.

    His flight to Belfast however was cancelled because of the weather, it is understood.

    Initially Hurricane Ophelia was forecast to hit Northern Ireland around 3 pm on Monday but it was later timed to arrive sometime after 12 noon.

  • 12:48
  • 12:52
    Gardai say there is a serious storm-related incident in Waterford ...details to follow shortly
  • 12:59

    Mandate trade union has issued a press release urging Tesco to confirm the closure of all its stores before 1pm.

    Mandate says it has written to all major retail employers in Ireland with the following confirming closure:

    Debenhams, Dunnes Stores, Penneys, Marks & Spencer, Supervalu MOPI, Heatons, Arnotts, Brown Thomas, Supervalu Pettitts, Argos, Shaws, Garveys (Kerry), Easons, PTSB, Caulfields Supervalu

  • 13:01

    The death of a woman in Hurricane Ophelia has been confirmed. A tree fell on the car in Aglish, Co Waterford this morning , according to a spokeswoman for Waterford County Council.  

  • 13:09
    Latest update from the meeting of the  State’s National Emergency Co-ordination Group via our reporter Sean Dunne

    Mét Eireann

    “The storm has materialised now and is just off the Kerry coastline. The most severe weater we have now is just off Kerry and heading towards Cork.

    “Gusts of wind have been recorded of 160km/h.   Its extremely severe conditions across Cork and Kerry at the moment.

    “The heaviest of the hurricane winds will be down along the south and east coast of the Irish sea. As the storm moves along, there’s another extra core going to fed into Co Clare and the West Coast of Galway. The estimated time of the secondary core is 3pm.

    “That’s why we have extended the status red warning to all areas.” said Mét Eireann forecaster Evelyn Cusack.


    Jim Casey from OPW told the National Emergency Co-ordination Group they are monitoring the coastline carefully.

    “Sea levels may be a meter above normal predicted tides due to a storm surge and that’s a very significant elevation of sea level. The timing of sea level may vary so local authorities need to pay particular attention,” he said.


    The ESB network said that there are currently 120,000 homes and businesses across the country currently without power. They expect this to rise significantly over the coming hours. The ESB network said that it could take several days to restore power.


    A number of windsurfers had to be rescued this morning and the coastguard have urged people to stay out of the water.

  • 13:32
    Update from gardai on fatality in Aiglish, Co Waterford. A driver in her 20s was killed when a tree fell on her car. A female passenger in her mid-50s was injured at 11.40am but her condition is not life-threatening.
  • 13:33
  • 13:35
    Update from Lorna Siggins our Marine Correspondent on two rescues on the seas.  

    The RNLI Rosslare all-weather lifeboat currently has taken a ten-metre yacht with three people on board under tow into Rosslare harbour, after a Mayday was issued from the vessel shortly after 10am.
    The yacht was nine miles off Rosslare, and was being swamped in heavy seas. The RNLI crew put a drogue on the yacht to keep its bow up in heavy weather.   An RNLI spokeswoman said that all on board the yacht were understood to be safe and well  

    In the north-east, Gardai sought air-sea rescue assistance when several kite surfers among a group of five surfers in Dundalk Bay disappeared from view.
    The Irish Coast Guard’s Dublin-based Rescue 116 helicopter was tasked, along with the RNLI Clogherhead lifeboat and Greenore Coast Guard in Co Louth.
    However, the surfers made it back to shore, and the emergency services were stood down.
    An Irish Coast Guard spokesman urged outdoor enthusiasts and members of the public to stay away the coastline, even after the storm appeared to have passed, and to stay “high and dry”.

  • 13:36
  • 13:41
    ESB says some 230,000 homes are now without power mainly in the midwest southwest and southern half of country may take several days to restore power.  
  • 13:42
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  • 13:57
    Worried about damage to your roof   car, house? What does your insurance cover? Conor Pope takes a look here.
  • 13:59
  • 14:20

    The Happy Pear twins are facing backlash on social media after posting a photo on Instagram of their early morning swim on Monday. The health food enthusiasts, who live in Greystones, swim in the sea each morning before posting online about their sunrise dip. However, the brothers have been criticised by Instagram followers for ignoring safety warnings advising people to stay away from coastal areas.

    The Instagram post wrote: The calm before the storm this morning, there was even some blue sky and the sea was like a pool... inspite of the weather warning it was one of the calmest morning in a while so there was no risk at all in having a swim!"

    Comments under the post accused the men of acting “very foolish and irresponsibly” and “encouraging other people to do the same and putting others at risk”.

    The Happy Pear Instagram account responded: "Sorry if we offended anyone swimming this morning with storm warnings but it was actually a really calm, peaceful morning, winds are picking up now so mind yourself and your loved one today."

    The post was later removed from the site.  

  • 14:28

    Most shops and businesses in the north west have closed as the Sligo-Leitrim region remains on high alert and prepares for the worst of Ophelia to hit this afternoon, Marese Mc Donagh has reported.

    The Quayside shopping centre in Sligo town closed at 11am while schools, crèches, restaurants and many GP clinics shut their doors early as people were advised to remain indoors. Strandhill’s Voya seaweed baths was one of several local businesses which closed its doors for the day.

    Sligo county council say outdoor crews remain on standby and senior engineer Tom Brennan predicts a major clean-up operation will be required by later this evening.  

  • 14:31
  • 14:33
    Gardai have issued a correction on the age of the death in Waterford after a car fell on a tree:   "The female fatality, who was the driver of the vehicle is her 50s, and the injured female passenger is in her 70s."
  • 14:36
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  • 14:42

    Wind speeds of over 190 kph were recorded off the coast of West Cork this morning when Hurricane Ophelia began buffeting the Fastnet Lighthouse, according to the Capt Robert McCabe of the Commissioner of Irish Lights who revealed that they had a range of sensors around the coast.

    “Some are on buoys and some are on fixed lighthouses and the Fastnet Lighthouse was obviously in the eye of the storm this morning as it moved in across Ireland and some very high windspeeds were recorded at the Fastnet,” Capt McCabe told Cork’s 96FM radio station.

  • 14:54
    Unfortunately a second fatality has been confirmed in Hurricane Ophelia. Gardai said a man in his 30s has died in Ballybrado, Cahir, Co Tipperary . He was clearing a fallen tree and was seriously injured with a chain saw. He has since passed away and his body has been removed to Clonmel Hospital. Gardai are urging everyone to stay indoors.
  • 15:01
    Dublin Fire Brigade is urging those still walking about Dublin city, particularly tourists, to go inside and take shelter over the next few hours as the worst of the storm heads east.  
    Meanwhile, Dublin City Council is calling on people in the capital to stay away from coastal areas and other bodies of water as the storm begins to hit the capital.
    The council's crisis team met at 1.30pm and will reconvene at 5pm for updates.
    In case of emergencies the public should contact:
    999 for life threatening emergencies,

    6796186 for non life threatening emergencies, or the Dublin City Council twitter feed for updates on fallen debris
  • 15:02
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  • 15:18

    ESB now saying 360,000 customers have been left without power. A spokesman for the network described as "unprecedented" the number of homes and businesses affected by the storm so far.  

  • 15:28

    A 14-year-old Co Cork school girl has been found safe and well after being reported missing when she failed to return home after trying to catch a ferry.  

    Darere Abuneimh from Cobh was dropped at the crossriver ferry in Glenbrook near Passage West by her father, Robert Bolton to catch the ferry back home across the Lee estuary to Carrigaloe after she learned her school was closed for the day. Her father told Cork’s 96FM Opinion Line he had brought his daughter over on the ferry at 8am to go to school but dropped her back to the boat when he discovered the school was closed.

    Mr Bolton had some work to attend to in the Passage area but when he returned home at 9am he discovered his daughter had not arrived back. He returned to Passage West but could find no trace of her before he contacted gardaí in Cobh.

    However, Darere was found safe and well after calling to a friend’s house in Passage West and taking shelter there from the storm.  

  • 15:30
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  • 15:46

    Irish Times marine correspondent Lorna Siggins says the strongest gusts recorded so far during Ophelia’s passage across Ireland were at Fastnet Rock with gusts reaching 191km/h at the lighthouse six miles southwest of Cape Clear Island in West Cork.

    Some 17 mm of rainfall has been recorded at Mace Head in Connemara and Valentia island, Co Kerry, with 9 mm of rainfall in one hour at Valentia.

    Met Éireann says the strongest winds are on the eastern and southern flank of Ophelia’s low pressure centre,  while heaviest rain is on the northwestern and western flank.

    Powerful gusts have also been recorded at:

    - Roches Point - 156km/h

    - Sherkin Island (before the weather station lost power) - 135km/h

    - Cork Airport (before a loss of power) - 126km/h

    - Shannon Airport - 122km/h  

  • 15:49

    More shocking video footage from Douglas this morning as the roof of the local community school gym was blown up into the air by the powerful gusts of wind battering the southwest.  

  • 15:51

    Department of Education says all schools will remain closed tomorrow. "This decision was primarily taken in the interests of child safety and on the basis of information available in what is a developing situation.   While it is recognised that some schools may not be as badly impacted as others, the information available at this time indicates that over 350,000 businesses and homes are already without power, and severe winds continue to cause damage across the country as the storm progresses. "

  • 15:51
  • 16:01

    Meanwhile in sport, Hurricane Ophelia has forced the postponement of Cork’s crucial Premier League clash with Derry City on Monday night. Photos taken on Monday morning at Turner’s Cross, where the match was scheduled to take place, revealed Ophelia had caused major damage to parts of the stadium.

    MFA Administrator, Gerard Delaney   confirmed that one section of the roof low stand at the Derrynane Road side of the ground had been blown off while the remaining sections of the roof had collapsed making the entire stand unsafe.

    “The stand would have a capacity of around 1,200 so it’s significant damage – we’ve made it as safe as we can at the moment but we are just waiting now for the engineers to arrive and assess the damage and see how safe the entire structure is,”   said Mr Delaney.

  • 16:03
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  • 16:12

    Gardaí in  Kinsale  have thanked the public for staying indoors during the storm after the roof of a building in the centre of the west cork town came crashing down on several parked cars.

    The roof started to come lose around 9.30am and sections of galvanised sheeting fell on cars parked on both sides of the usually busy Pearse Street but according to gardaí, no was injured.

  • 16:15

    Gardaí are reporting a third fatality as a result of the strong winds and rain battering the country. It is understood a man was killed at about 2.45pm on Monday after a tree fell on the car he was driving on a local road in Ravensdale, Dundalk. Further updates to follow...  

  • 16:19

    Cork City Council have confirmed that their emergency staff will not begin clearing fallen trees and other debris until Hurricane Ophelia abates, saying it is too dangerous to send staff out during the storm.  

    “We can confirm that trees are down at the Marina, a hoarding is down on the Lower Glanmire Road and Winter’s Hill near Blarney Street is closed due to debris and there are many more unconfirmed reports of fallen trees and debris damage.

    "As the risk is too great, debris like fallen hoardings and trees will not be removed by our emergency personnel at the moment. As soon as the risk reduces, our teams will be out clearing roadways,” said Cork City Council in a statement.

  • 16:20
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  • 16:25
    Kinvara Pier in Co Galway completely flooded at 3.15pm on Monday afternoon. Photograph: Lily Johnston
    Kinvara Pier in Co Galway completely flooded at 3.15pm on Monday afternoon. Photograph: Lily Johnston
  • 16:43

    All schools in Northern Ireland are to remain closed on Tuesday, October 17th given the severity of hurricane Ophelia. The UK Department of Education released a statement on Monday afternoon saying schools would remain closed following advice from the Met Office on "the prolonged nature and potential severity of the storm".  

    School principals are advised to check their school email accounts for a message from the Permanent Secretary of the Department.

  • 16:47

    ESB has warned that the majority of customers who have lost electricity at present will be without power tonight and over a number of days.


  • 16:49
  • 16:56

    All Dublin Bus, Irish Rail, Bus Eireann, Luas services suspended for the remainder of the day until Tuesday morning.  

  • 17:00
  • 17:02
    An Bord Gáis Energy Theatre in Dublin has announced that due to the red weather alert issued by Met Éireann, Monday's 7.30pm performance of Miss Saigon has been cancelled. Any tickets purchased for the event can be exchanged for another date.    
  • 17:07
  • 17:08

    Creche update: The Department of Children said the safety and welfare of children, staff and parents “ should be carefully considered” by each childcare service “before they decide on service resumption”.  

  • 17:13

    Som 16,000 customers have been left without electricity across Northern Ireland as storm Ophelia makes her way across the island. They join the estimated 360,000 customers in the republic without power.

    NIE networks said they expected the number of customers affected by power cuts in Northern Ireland to rise as the storm makes its way across the country. Wind speeds are also exptected to increase further on east/southeast coasts.  

    NIE networks is reminding customers to take the following precautionary measures in the event of a power cut:

    • never approach broken lines or damaged poles, and keep children and animals away

    • if you are using a generator, be careful where you site it in case of carbon monoxide poisoning

    • turn off electric cookers, ovens, irons, etc. if electricity supply is lost

    • leave a light switched on so you know when power has been restored

    • take extra care if using candles, oil lamps or other naked flames

    • test smoke alarms with fresh batteries

    • ensure adequate ventilation if using gas heaters.

  • 17:21

    More than 11,000 Eir customers have been left without broadband, telephone and mobile services as Storm Ophelia caused "unprecedented and widespread levels of damage" to the telecommunications infrastructure across Ireland.    

    The company has warned that it expects the number of affected customers to "rise significantly", particularly as access to mobile sites is restricted due to road closures.  

  • 17:29
    From Luke Coyle: “A tree fell onto the pavement right in front of us outside St Stephen’s Green this afternoon.”
    From Luke Coyle: “A tree fell onto the pavement right in front of us outside St Stephen’s Green this afternoon.”
  • 17:34
  • 17:39

    Aer Lingus has cancelled a large number of flights from Irish airports and has advised passengers scheduled to fly on Monday to check the status of their flight online. The airline says it will continue to monitor the situation and will post updates as new information becomes available.

    Customers who were booked to travel on the cancelled flights may change to another date of travel free of charge or can request a full refund. The airline also said that people booked on any Aer Lingus flight on Monday who would like to postpone their journey, even if the flights are scheduled to operate, may change to another date of travel within the next three days free of charge.  

  • 17:43

    Bus services to resume on Tuesday morning

    Bus Éireann will resume its full schedule of services from 5am on Tuesday, October 17th. The bus company announced earlier that all services would be suspended for the remainder of Monday in line with advice not to travel.

    It warned that some school transport services which travel on minor roads may not run on Tuesday due to flooding or fallen trees but that updates would be available on, Twitter and Facebook.  

  • 17:44
  • 17:46
  • 17:49

    UL to open on Tuesday  

    The University of Limerick has said it will open as usual on Tuesday, October 17th. A statement from the university said the campus had sustained no structural or flooding damage during Storm Ophelia and any damaged trees had been cleared. Students travelling to the university on Tuesday are advised to take extra caution.  

  • 17:58

    Irish Water services

    Communities in the south of the country have been left without water due to burst mains in areas that are unsafe for crews to carry out repairs during the storm, Irish Water has said. The group also warned of power outages at wastewater plants and pumping stations which had resulted in the discharged of untreated or partially treated sewage.

    However, Irish Water said “extensive power outages” to treatment plants and pumping stations had for the most part not impacted water supplies because of backup generators and reservoir storage. It said rainfall levels had been manageable and there were no reports of serious flooding in their networks.

    The group warned some customers would be affected by supply restrictions between 10pm on Monday and 7am on Tuesday to conserve water where necessary and advised people to check the website for updates.  

  • 18:01

    National Parks alert

    All National Parks and Reserves will remain closed on Tuesday, October 17th pending the conduction of safety inspections, the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht has said.  

  • 18:20

    Support for the homeless during the storm  

    Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy has said buses have been driving around the Dublin area to pick up homeless people and bring them indoors to safety. The minister said Housing First Teams and Local Authorities would continue to offer shelter to people on the streets and that additional facilities would provide shelter and support to those in need across the country.

    An additional 200 emergency bed spaces in Dublin have been sourced and Dublin City Council and the Dublin Region Homeless Executive said there was enough capacity to help all those in need of shelter. The housing executive also advised hotels housing homeless families to provide food for the families so they would not have to leave their homes.

    Outside Dublin, homeless individuals and rough sleepers were transported to facilities using taxi or local authority mini bus services, according to the minister.  

  • 18:31
    The Rehab Group says due to road closures and power outages all RehabCare and NLN centres across Ireland will remain closed on Tuesday, October 17th. Staff have been advised not to travel to work if roads are trecherous.
  • 18:41
    Latest Storm Ophelia update: the eye of the storm is currently over Donegal and will continue to move north-east in the coming hours. Strong winds along eastern and southern coasts are expected to ease over the next 3-4 hous.  
  • 18:43
  • 18:47

    Tuesday will be 'normal day'

    Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has said to a large extent Tuesday will be 'a normal day'. Mr Varadkar said schools had closed “to allow for authority to check for damage in buildings” and to check for health and safety. He expected most schools to have reopened by Wednesday.

    The Taoiseach offered his condolences to the families of those who died in the storm and pleaded with people to put safety first.

  • 18:52

    Storm winds from Galway to Dublin to peak from 5pm-7pm

    Minister for Local Government Eoghan Murphy has said storm winds will peak in a line from Galway to Dublin between 5pm and 7pm. He said for areas north of that line, the storm will not peak until later, and further updates will be provided for those areas.

    “The advice remains to stay indoors and stay safe,” he said.  

    On the decision to close primary and secondary schools tomorrow, he said even though tomorrow’s weather looked mild, the concern “has to be first and for most in relation to child safety issues”.

    “We won't know the full extent of road closures, of damage of water supply shortages and other structural damage issues in some parts of the country until tomorrow morning, so it’s being seen as prudent to have those schools closed tomorrow, primary and secondary, throughout the country.”

  • 18:53
  • 18:56

    EU support after Ophelia  

    Fine Gael Senator and spokesman on EU Affairs Neale Richmond has said the EU Solidarity Fund will be vital for the post Hurricane Ophelia recovery efforts in Ireland.

    The fund was set up in 2002 following severe floods in Central Europe and its primary function is to provide financial aid to disaster stricken regions across Europe.

    "Given the huge amount of damage inflicted across the country by Hurricane Ophelia, Ireland will be eligible for such funds,” said Mr Richmond, adding that an application for support must be received by the European Commission  within 12 weeks  of any disaster occurring.  

    "This not a rapid response tool but it will be vital to the post storm recovery and I have no doubt the Government will apply to draw down these funds once the initial emergency and relief measures are attended to."

  • 19:01

    Sligo/Leitrim update

    Roads across the north west are likely to remain closed for several hours with local authorities warning that fallen trees will be removed “when it is considered safe to do so”, according to Marese McDonagh reporting from the Sligo/Leitrim region.

    Around 400 householders were left without power in the Tubbercurry area of Co Sligo on Monday evening, while over 300 ESB customers in Mohill Co Leitrim were cut off, among thousands in the county without power .

    Several roads in the county were impassable due to fallen trees including the Strandhill to Culleenamore road, and the R6106 at Ranaghan, Coolaney. The R284 Sligo to Geevagh road was also blocked at Mounttown, about a mile from geevagh.

  • 19:06
  • 19:09

    NUI Galway has confirmed that it will reopen on Tuesday, October 17th and that lectures will go ahead as normal in addition to conferring ceremonies.  

    However, all further education colleges in Northern Ireland will remain closed on Tuesday, the North's Department for the Economy has confirmed.    

    The Department of Education in the North has already said schools will stay closed on Tuesday as work begins to assess the damage caused by Hurricane Ophelia.    


  • 19:19

    Estimated 450,000 homes and businesses to be left without power

    ESB has said it expects 450,000 homes and businesses to be without electricity by darkness this evening. The network has reported 3,300 faults so far on their networks across Ireland with just over 360,000 customers without power. A spokesman for the network described the number of electricity cuts as “unprecedented territory” with warnings that some people could be without power for more than a week.

    “Currently our prioritisation is looking at restoring the supply to vulnerable and medically effected customers and we will then move on into restoring supply to state infrastructure, schools, water supplies, communication facilities,” said the ESB spokesman.

    Storm Darwin in February 2014 resulted in a loss of supply to 280,000 customers, the restoration effort during storm Darwin took up to 8 days across the country to restore supply to everybody.

  • 19:33

    Luas cancellations on Tuesday  

    There will be no Luas service on the Red or Green lines tomorrow morning due to damage at a technical room at the Red Cow depot.

  • 19:36

    Derry storm update

    In Magherafelt the Annaghmore and Glenmaquill Roads are closed, as is the Birren Road and Legavallon Roads in Dungiven, reports Freya McClements from Derry.  

    The Hillhead Road in Castledawson, has now re-opened, as has the Feeny Road, which had been closed to clear tree branches. In Derry City, the Peace Bridge remains closed as a precautionary measure..

    All bus services in Northern Ireland have now been suspended.   NI Railways is not operating any services which depart after 5.10pm on Monday.  

  • 19:52

    Latest storm update

    The storm is moving rapidly northwards but there are still storm force westerly winds impinging on southern Galway and northern Clare. Hurricane force winds have moved on from Cork but there are still gusts in excess of 110kmph hitting the southern county.

    Winds south of Galway and Dublin are expected to decrease over the next few hours as the storm moves northwards. However, conditions north of the line between the two cities will continue to be hazardous for the next 4 hours.

    The storm is expected to have cleared from the North by midnight this evening.

    However, Met Éireann has warned that we are “still in the throes of the storm” as it moves over the northern half of the country and that people must continue to take care.  

  • 19:54
  • 19:57
  • 20:12
    We've put together a full list of road closures across the country. Click here to check out which roads have been affected by fallen tress and debris.  
  • 20:16
    Earlier today we asked readers to send us their photos of the storm as Ophelia swept across the country. Here are some of the best pics we received.
  • 20:17

    Today's wind speeds from Met Éireann:

  • 20:21

    Gardaí are appealing for information after a bronze 'Mother & Baby' statue was stolen this afternoon in Finglas. The statue disappeared shortly after it was knocked down by a falling tree during Storm Ophelia on a green area located between Finglas Road and Finglas Place.

    Anyone with information is asked to contact  Finglas Garda Station on 01-6667500 or the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666 111


  • 20:24
  • 20:27

    Public transport update

    Both Luas lines are to remain out of service tomorrow morning due to damage caused by Storm Ophelia.
    Luas, along with other public transport providers, stopped all services on Monday morning as the storm moved across the country. However unlike Dublin Bus, Bus Éireann and Iarnród Éireann , Luas will not resume services on Tuesday morning.
    It is currently unclear when services will resume.
    “It will take time to investigate the damage caused and time to repair. We are not able to give an estimate in relation to the time it will take,” the company said in a statement.
    The storm damaged a technical room in the Luas Depot at the Red Cow in Clondalkin on Monday afternoon, meaning both the red and green lines will be down until further notice.


  • 20:40

    Dublin storm update

    Dublin is dealing with 70 incidents of felled trees and other debris following the worst of Storm Ophelia across the city. However, Dublin City Council said the capital had not suffered the same damage as other parts of the country.

    In its final crisis management meeting of the day, the council said it had been notified of more than 150 incidents in the city, most of which were minor in nature. It said Dublin Fire Brigade, Roads, Traffic, Drainage and Waste Management Crews would continue to work throughout the night and that it expected all Dublin City Council Offices and Services would open as normal on Tuesday as well as the Just Eat dublinbike stations.

    Dublin City Council requested that people continue to exercise caution and thanked council staff and members of the Dublin Fire Brigade for their hard work during the storm.  

  • 20:41
  • 21:00

    Woman killed in Waterford during storm named

    The woman who died on Monday when a tree fell on her car in Co Waterford during Storm Ophelia has been named locally as Claire O’Neill. Her family had moved to the area about seven years ago, having originally come from Co Cork. The incident happened less than a kilometre from Ms O’Neill’s home, which is about two kilometres from the village of Aglish.

    She worked as an oncology nurse for over three decades, having lately worked as Cancer Support Co-Ordinator with the Cork ARC Cancer Support House with their East Cork and West Waterford service, based in Youghal. She previously worked with the ARC cancer support team at their base on O’Donovan Rossa Road in Cork.

  • 21:08

    ESB update

    About 330,000 electricity customers across Ireland have been left without power this evening following Storm Ophelia. Fallen trees on overhead lines are responsible for most of the damage to the network.  

    The majority of customers with no electricity will remain without power on Monday night and over the coming days. ESB warned that 5-10% of this number would be without power for up to ten days.  

    ESB Networks is urging customers who use electronically powered medical devices and who are without power to contact their healthcare professional for advice on how to continue their care during this period.  

    ESB is also calling on people who come across fallen wires or damaged electricity never to touch or approach the wires as they are live and extremely dangerous.  

    Customers with power cuts must take the following precautionary measures:

    • Never approach broken lines or damaged poles, and keep children and animals away – report damage to ESB Networks at 1850 372 999 and listen to recorded messages carefully
    • Turn off electric cookers, ovens, irons, etc. if electricity supply is lost
    • Leave a light switched on so you know when power has been restored
    • Take extra care if using candles, oil lamps or other naked flames
    • Test smoke alarms with fresh batteries
    • Ensure adequate ventilation if using gas heaters.
  • 21:18

    Storm Ophelia deaths in Tipperary and Louth

    The man who died on Monday in Tipperary while clearing a fallen tree with a chain saw during Storm Ophelia has been named locally as Michael Pyke. Mr Pyke (31), an electrician, lived on St Joseph’s Terrace in Ballybrado with his father Tony. His mother is deceased.

    It’s understood he went to cut up a tree which had fallen on a road about three kilometres from his home, between the village of Ballylooby and Cahir, but was fatally injured by one of the tree’s branches. Gardaí are trying to establish why he had decided to cut the tree.

    The victim’s father Tony is a retired council worker while the victim himself was a single man.

    Meanwhile a man was fatally injured in a crash on a local road in Dundalk, Co Louth when his car was struck by a tree. The alarm was raised at about 2.45pm and gardaí and emergency services were called to the scene on a local road in Ravensdale, Dundalk.

  • 21:33
  • 21:36
    A reminder that Storm Ophelia is not over and that Status Red weather warning remains in place until 1am so continue to take precautions and avoid making unnecessary journeys.  
  • 21:37
  • 21:50
  • 22:23
    A message from President Michael D Higgins in Australia via our reporter Simon Carswell: "I have no doubt that when the full assessment of the impact of hurricane Ophelia is available some of the finer characteristics of the Irish people in responding to difficulties will emerge, and that people in Ireland will cooperate with each other in their usual way, and that those who work in public service will produce the extraordinary response for which they have such a great reputation."

    "I wish everybody safety, good health and the patience that no doubt will be required."
  • 22:35
    From Patsy McGarry our Religious Affairs Corr: The Islamic Cultural Centre in Dublin’s Clonskeagh has offered the Dublin Region Homeless Executive shelter for up to 60 homeless people affected by Storm Ophelia. Upwards of 20 people had already been placed there early last night. A spokesman for the Centre said the places were available to all those who needed them “regardless of faith “ and was a contribution by the Centre “to the society we live in.”
  • 00:09
    That's it from us tonight.

    There will be further live coverage of the aftermath of Storm Ophelia later this morning.

    Stay safe.