County on alert for Storm Ophelia

County on alert for Storm Ophelia


Remember: In the event emergency call 999/112 for Fire, Ambulance, Gardaí or Coast Guard.

Photo: © Pat Flynn 2017



1050pm – Bus Éireann will not operate any of its nationwide services on Monday– including the Expressway network – from 0500 hours to 1400 tomorrow due to a national red weather alert.

The company will review the situation on Monday morning, and will attempt to provide some level of service in some parts of the country in the afternoon, but it is likely widespread disruption could continue for most of the day.

9.30pm – Clare County Council has confirmed that the following services will remain closed on Monday.

*Central Waste Management Facility, Ballyduffbeg; Ennis recycling centre; Lisdeen recycling centre and transfer station; Scariff recycling centre and transfer station; Shannon recycling centre; Active Kilrush Amenity Park; Active Ennis Leisure Centre; Active Ennis John O’Sullivan Park, Lees Road; All Clare County Library branches; Clare Museum; Loop Head Lighthouse and Clare Arts Office

5.45pm – The Cliffs of Moher will remain closed on Monday October 16th.

An Garda Síochána have warned drivers of high sided vehicles and motorcyclists should also be aware of the extreme danger posed by gale force winds as they are particularly vulnerable.

People living in coastal areas are also being warned of the risk posed by flooding from storm surge and the Coast Guard is requesting members of the public to avoid any visits or walks to coastal or cliff areas.

It is envisaged that there will be significant damage caused by winds, especially in the nature of fallen trees and downed power wires.  Please assume that any fallen wires are live and do not approach or touch the wires.  Please report any fallen wires to the emergency services.

It is envisaged that there will be significant damage caused by winds – Photo: © Pat Flynn 2017

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Clare’s principal emergency response agencies are advising schools to close and members of the public and services providers to avoid any non-urgent travel during Monday due to the Red Alert weather warning in place.

The appeal has been issued following a meeting of the Inter Agency Co-ordination group in Ennis this morning.

Clare County Council, An Garda Síochána and the HSE have discussed the necessary plans for responding to the Status Red weather warning. The response is based on learning from previous adverse weather events.

The agencies have expressed particular concern that the public would take every precaution to avoid unnecessary travel and take heed of ongoing updates from Met Éireann and Government agencies.

Storm Ophelia is expected to transition to a post tropical storm as it approaches Ireland on Monday bringing severe winds and stormy conditions. Mean wind speeds in excess of 80 km/h and gusts in excess of 130km/h are expected, potentially causing structural damage and disruption, with dangerous marine conditions due to high seas and potential flooding.

At present, the strongest and most damaging winds are now forecasted to affect Munster and south Leinster, particularly the southwest, south and Irish Sea coasts with the heaviest rainfall accumulations in Connacht, west Ulster and west Munster.

The Irish Coast Guard has also issued a warning to the public.

Members of the public have been urged to heed the advice of the Coast Guard as Met Éireann has issued a severe weather warning, Level Red, to affect western and southern coastal counties tomorrow Monday with severe weather, storm force winds, very high seas and storm surges on all coasts tomorrow.With the onset of Hurricane Ophelia the Coast Guard is requesting  members of the public to avoid any visits or walks to coastal or cliff areas.

The storm is expected to be at its most severe from Monday morning with SW and West coast areas expected to experience the brunt of the storm. The Coast Guard is reminding the public of the dangers of visiting exposed coastal areas and to adhere to the core message of; Stay Back, Stay High, Stay Dry.

All mariners will be well aware of the onset of severe storm conditions and are reminded to pay additional attention to the sea area forecasts, noting that as the centre of the weather system approaches Ireland, localised changes are likely.

If you see someone in difficulty in the sea, on the shore dial 112/999 and ask for the Coast Guard.

Meanwhile, in the interest of the safety of the UL community the University of Limerick has confirmed that the campus will be closed on Monday 16th October as a result of a code red weather warning in the area.

All public spaces will be closed including the University Arena, the University Concert Hall and all public walk ways throughout the campus.

All on campus residents will be instructed to stay indoors for the duration of the storm and will be supported by security teams tomorrow.

Flood defences have been put in place on the banks of the River Shannon through the UL campus as a preventative measure.

Shannon Airport is advising passengers to contact their airline before travelling to the airport on Monday.

The airport has also confirmed that Aer Lingus Regional flights EI 3675/3672 from and to Edinburgh and EI-3639/3638 from and to Birmingham on Monday have been cancelled.


Chief Reporter Pat Flynn has worked as a journalist for almost 30 years. His career began during the late 1980s when, like many aspiring radio presenters of the time, he worked for local pirate radio stations in Clare and Limerick. Pat joined Clare FM in 1990 where he worked as researcher initially and later presented several different programmes including the station's flagship current affairs programme. He was also the station's News Editor and Deputy Controller of Programmes. Despite leaving in 2003 to pursue a career as a freelance journalist, he continues to work with the station to this day. As well as being the Clare Herald’s Chief Reporter Pat is also freelance journalist and broadcaster, contributing to Ireland’s national newspapers and is a regular contributor to national broadcasters.