Republic of Ireland news

Storm Ali: Tributes paid to woman who died after caravan blew off cliff

The scene in Claddaghduff, near Clifden in Co Galway where a woman died after her caravan was blown off a cliff in Storm Ali which has brought gusts of 91mph 
Cate McCurry, Press Association

Tributes have been paid to the woman who died after the caravan she was in was blown off a cliff during Storm Ali, which is battering Ireland and parts of the UK.

The first named storm of the season brought high winds to the west of Ireland where the caravan was blown onto a beach at Claddaghduff, near Clifden in Co Galway, this morning.

Gardai said the body of a woman in her fifties was found after a search on the beach.

The dwelling is understood to have been blown onto a stretch of coastline and was not submerged in water.

Storm Ali updates: 'Extremely challenging conditions' as 55,000 left without power

President Michael D Higgins was among those who expressed condolences to the woman who died.

"I was deeply saddened to learn that Storm Ali has already claimed one victim today in Claddaghduff, Co Galway," he said.

"As President of Ireland, may I express my deepest condolences to her family.

"I would also take this opportunity to pay tribute to all those, in statutory and voluntary organisations around the country, who are helping and stand ready to assist their fellow citizens, and who are working to maintain essential services around the country."

Minister for Employment Regina Doherty also offered her condolences to the family of the dead woman.

Speaking in the Dáil on Wednesday, Ms Doherty said: "Can I on behalf of everyone in the House, including the government, offer my sincere condolences to the family and friends of the lady who passed away this morning due to the adverse weather conditions in Galway."

Footage of the scene shows the caravan broken up into several pieces as the tide threatens to wash it out to sea.

More than 250,000 homes and businesses across the island of Ireland are without power as a result of Storm Ali.

The Republic's electricity network, ESB Networks said that 186,000 homes, businesses and farms have been left without power, with the most impacted in Cavan, Sligo, Donegal, Castlebar and Galway.

In the north, approximately 65,000 homes and businesses are without power as gusts of 70mph continue to cause significant damage.

The storm has also led to the cancellation of the second day of a major agricultural show in Ireland.

The National Ploughing Championships, which attracts tens of thousands of visitors every year, was cancelled following damage caused by the severe weather.

Storm Ali continues to wreak havoc across Ireland and has led to delays in a number of services including postal services throughout the north and north-west of the country.

Heavy winds and subsequent storm damage led to disruptions in more than 60 post offices while mail deliveries across a wide area of the north and north-west were temporarily disrupted during the height of the storm.

Met Éireann said the strongest gusts in the hour leading up to 10am reached speeds of 120km/h (74.5mph) at Mace Head in County Galway, 98km/h (60.9mph) at Dublin Airport and 107km/h (66.5mph) at Shannon.

The Met Office said gusts of 91mph hit Killowen in County Down, 77mph winds were recorded in Kirkcudbrightshire in Scotland, 74mph gusts hit Capel Curig in Wales and 68mph was recorded in St Bees Head, Cumbria, England.

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